Page 1024 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 21 March 2012

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MRS DUNNE: Minister, what agencies are involved in assessing the level of medical staff required at an ACT special school and who has the final say about the level of medical staff provided?

MS GALLAGHER: I think these are discussions that are had across directorates and most particularly between the Health Directorate and the education directorate. In terms of the clinical decision making about health requirements and support needs then Health would be the lead directorate in regard to that.

MRS DUNNE: A supplementary question, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, who takes responsibility in the event that lack of appropriate staff or appropriate medical care results in injury or jeopardised health to a student at an ACT special school?

MS GALLAGHER: Who would take responsibility if something happened? Is that your question? It is hypothetical but I would imagine it would rest with the ACT government, if there was a demonstrated need, an acknowledged need, and a situation occurred where, through the lack of provision of service, an adverse event had occurred. But these are issues that we manage every single day in every single school, and indeed right across Health facilities. But I do not think it is about pointing the finger at any one directorate, Mrs Dunne.

Multiculturalism—cultural acceptance and community participation

MS PORTER: My question is for the Minister for Community Services. Minister, what is the government’s record in promoting cultural acceptance and community participation in the ACT?

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Porter for her interest. Since 2001 the ACT Labor government has proven its commitment to developing and enhancing our city’s cultural diversity, acceptance and participation through implementing an extensive range of multicultural programs, policies, initiatives, fundings and celebrations. A decade on, Canberra is now one of Australia’s most cosmopolitan and culturally diverse cities, boasting a population where 40 per cent of individuals were either born overseas or at least have one parent born overseas. In homes throughout the capital we also speak over 170 languages and dialects.

One of the best demonstrations of how cultural acceptance and community participation have evolved and developed is the massive growth and expansion of the annual National Multicultural Festival, which has become Australia’s premier celebration of cultural diversity.

This year more than 250,000 people attended the event over three days in February, proving that our community’s acceptance of cultural diversity is at an all-time high. The crowds were the largest in the festival’s 16-year history and the participation by

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