Page 2294 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 5 June 2013
MS BURCH: I thank Mrs Jones for her question. We have made a commitment to the National Multicultural Festival. I think that to support them in planning an appropriate engagement with stakeholders, particularly for next year, which has already started to be in place, we have committed these two years. But, as the Treasurer said, we are very firmly committed to delivering on our election commitments. It is a tough budget. We secured two years, and I think in these two years we need to work with the sector and the community about how best to deliver the Multicultural Festival. You may have realised that last year we stretched the capacity, the footprint and the number of stalls even more, and some of the feedback is that perhaps we have reached our footprint limit. It is very important to consider all those views, secure funding for the first two years and make sure we get it right in the outyears for our community.
MADAM SPEAKER: Mrs Jones, a supplementary.
MRS JONES: Minister, were the funding documents that were produced by Treasury as a result of budget promises inaccurate in their statement that they would cover those extra two years?
MS BURCH: We remain committed to our election commitment to fund in the outyears what we have been seen to secure for the two years. As I have explained, I am very comfortable in working through 2014 and 2015 and working with the community to make sure that we get that planning right in those outyears.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter.
MS PORTER: Minister, how important is it to continue to support the Multicultural Festival?
MS BURCH: I thank Ms Porter for her question. It is one of the key activities, and certainly the participation levels of our multicultural community in the festival are extraordinary. At the last festival, in February this year, we had over six performance stages, over 250 groups and, I think, over 350 stalls, the bulk of which were local community stalls coming in. This is often the major fundraiser for many of our local multicultural associations. This is quite significant. That is why we continue to invest and grow the festival. But I am very mindful that there is a point when the footprint gets to the point where we need to contain it or constrain it. There could sometimes be too much of a good thing, but I do not think there is ever too much of our Multicultural Festival.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.
MR DOSZPOT: Minister, in regard to your response to Mrs Jones’s questions, is it simply an attempt to make the bottom line look better?
MS BURCH: I think if you paid attention to my response to Mrs Jones, it was that, yes, we recognise that it is a tough budget, but it is also about the early feedback that I have picked up through the community groups in regard to the footprint, the size and the number of stalls. Perhaps we have reached our limit. It is important that we work