Page 176 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 28 November 2012

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The festival has evolved into an event where performers from all over the world wish to showcase their cultures and talent. For 2013 cultural performances from the following countries will participate just to name a few: Latin American countries such as Venezuela and Argentina, Korea, Papua New Guinea, China, and African countries such as Kenya and Botswana.

There are cultural performing groups coming from 25 countries. The extensive program of next year’s festival is world class and demonstrates the popular event is much loved and looked forward to by tourists from all over Australia.

In 2013 the festival will have 74 embassies involved in the event. This level of international interest and involvement promotes our city across the world. The windows to the world are the embassies which embrace this opportunity to showcase their country to Australians.

Another exciting first for the 2013 festival is the request for a Korean film crew to come to Canberra to film the 2013 festival for further showcasing on the national Korean media. I think that demonstrates that this really is not only a beloved local but a national and international festival of our multicultural community.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Jones.

MRS JONES: I understand that the Austrian community is quite interested in having some kind of a display of stock sport at the Multicultural Festival—having a space available to display that sport to the community. Is there any possible consideration from the government to having a demonstration of the sport at the Multicultural Festival?

MS BURCH: I am trying to imagine 250,000 people in Garema Place with 300 stalls, five stages and a sports activity, Mrs Jones. It could be somewhat crowded. But I am sure that if that group want to talk to the Office of Multicultural Affairs and explore the activity—certainly the footprint has expanded. We have certainly moved beyond Garema Place. We are now coming in to Civic Square, hosting the Indigenous showcase, London Circuit, and other streets have certainly been taken over. I think the success of this shows that the ACT Labor government really does well by our multicultural community. Whilst I am not quite sure if you were involved in your party’s conversations before the last election, it is disappointing and it has certainly been noted by the multicultural community—

MADAM SPEAKER: Relevance, Ms Burch.

MS BURCH: that there was an absence of a multicultural policy from the Canberra Liberals.

MADAM SPEAKER: Minister Burch, when I call your attention to relevance, I expect a response, not for you to continue to talk over me.

MS BURCH: Sorry, I was just finishing the answer to the question, Madam Speaker.

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