Page 175 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 28 November 2012

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Dr Bourke: On a point of order, Madam Speaker, I cannot hear the answer to my question. The minister is only a metre away from me.

Members interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, members!

Mr Smyth: Madam Speaker, on the point of order, the Treasurer was comparing the length of fringes of the gentlemen of the Assembly and it is entirely inappropriate that he do so.

MADAM SPEAKER: It is entirely inappropriate. Can you stop the clock, please, Clerk? As I said yesterday, there was not interjection; there was more than a low murmur of conversation that did make it difficult for anyone to hear Ms Burch. I think that, again, courtesy is required so that we can at least hear the person answering the question.

MS BURCH: Following a call for expressions of interest for a creative producer to stage the Fringe Festival and assessment by an independent panel, I have appointed Mr PJ Williams and Mr Nick Byrne, who submitted a joint application. They have more than 25 years experience, including theatre, festival direction and radio. They are founders of Impro ACT theatre and have previously produced a variety of festivals in Canberra.

The Fringe Festival producers will provide opportunities to celebrate and explore different multicultural experiences. These will include a culture mash, young musicians from different cultures playing together; fringe dwellers, short documentaries by local film makers in the homes of mixed culture families that will be screened at the festival; world karaoke, with language-of-origin hits, open to audience participation; living stories, younger generations being interviewed about their experiences as migrants or Australian born children of migrants; and the world record haka, an attempt to gather as many people from different cultures to learn and perform a haka together. (Time expired.)

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, what evidence is there that the Multicultural Festival is helping to boost Canberra’s international reputation?

MS BURCH: Last year’s National Multicultural Festival documentary, filmed by 2012 festival sponsor GoConnect Pty Ltd, was launched on 3 October and has been viewed by over 93 million people through internet TV around the world. That is 93 million people around the world who have seen Canberra showcased through the National Multicultural Festival.

This year the festival boasts world class entertainers, including performances from the African Village and the Bengali Showcase, who will perform alongside local renowned cultural entertainers and performers.

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