Page 173 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 28 November 2012

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Mr Seselja: They close their eyes.

MS GALLAGHER: No. This goes to the model, Mr Seselja. You might be flippant and laugh it off but this goes to the model that when a patient comes to the doctor and their veins have collapsed—and that is what we are dealing with here, very sick people with collapsed veins—they want to treat it. A doctor wants to treat that and provide them with the best care they can.

One of the options, apart from counselling and apart from the provision of drug treatment services, is to minimise the harm that is being done. That is the view of the doctors, but the doctors have been very clear that it is not around endorsing or allowing the use of drugs.

In relation to the second point, around public servants dictating what they will and will not allow in their workplace, that raises another issue for the government. If we are to accept that view that corrections staff can determine how, when and what goes on, then we would expect the teachers to be able to do it. We would expect nurses to be able to say, “Hang on, I have a patient here who is very dangerous and who is threatening me and I am not going to provide a service to do that because I am worried about that.” If that is a position you endorse, that is very interesting and it will flow to every other public servant in this town. So there is a reason. We must pursue this, and we will. (Time expired.)

National Multicultural Festival—government support

DR BOURKE: My question is to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. Minister, what plans does the government have to further enhance the Multicultural Festival, especially in the centenary year?

MS BURCH: I thank Dr Bourke for his question. Next year’s National Multicultural Festival will be held from Friday, 8 February through to Sunday, 10 February, and I do encourage everyone in this place to come along and attend and to encourage their families and friends to come along as well.

The centenary theme will be reflected through the entire program of performances at the festival. Importantly, the event provides the focus and opportunity for multicultural community groups to acknowledge and celebrate the 100 years of Canberra’s development and their involvement in this growth. The ACT government leads the organisation of this event and for next year has provided an additional $100,000 to ensure that the necessary infrastructure and appropriate decorations are available to adorn the centenary National Multicultural Festival. On top of that, I am delighted at ACT Labor’s election commitment to build this new funding into the festival’s budget for future years—

Opposition members interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, members!

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