Page 856 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 9 April 2014

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Multicultural Festival is. Around 200,000 people attended the last festival and celebrated the contributions of our diverse community. One hundred and fifty languages are spoken in Canberra homes. That reflects the fact that 40 per cent of Canberrans are either born overseas or their parents were born overseas.

Ministers Corbell and Rattenbury spoke of the dangers of Senator Brandis’s watered-down section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. They highlighted the flaws in the test of how racial abuse might be judged. It is a test so weak that you might as well just ask the perpetrator what the nature of the abuse is. It makes the section almost irrelevant and tolerates racism and bigotry.

Mr Assistant Speaker, you highlighted the effects of racial abuse in schools and the damaging effect it has on young people’s sense of belonging and their chance to take their rightful place in society. Ms Berry discussed what sort of country we want to live in.

I welcome the support in particular of the Canberra Liberals for this motion and thank Mr Hanson for his contribution. I look forward to their input to the public discussion and hope they maintain their stance, no matter what their federal colleagues decide. I am sure that many in their party will be proud of them.

Motion agreed to.

Environment—Koppers site

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (3.39): I move:

That this Assembly

(1) notes:

(a) Koppers Wood Products timber treatment plant operated from the early 1980s until 2005 in Hume;

(b) during the period from 1998 to 2005 the treatment plant failed to submit all the required testing to the Environmental Protection Authority;

(c) an independent audit in 2007, of the then recently vacated site, indicated there was groundwater pollution which breached the safe national limits;

(d) Hexavalent chromium in the groundwater was recorded up to 2430 times the legal limit;

(e) the failings of the ACT authorities in not ensuring the required testing was completed during the time the company was occupying the block; and

(f) the failings of the ACT Government in not obtaining any independent tests over the seven years from 2007, until this was raised as an issue in the media; and

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