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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 March 2015) . . Page.. 847 ..

find anything called the social inclusion agenda, so I am not quite sure what a progress report on it is going to include and what it is going to cover other than to perhaps provide an opportunity for the minister to repeat the points in Dr Bourke’s motion.

We do not especially need this particular motion. As the relevant minister, Ms Berry could deliver a statement on this. I am not quite sure why she needs Dr Bourke to call on her to deliver such a statement. Perhaps, firstly, it is just an opportunity to repeat the same points in the progress statement as are contained in this motion today. Or perhaps, secondly, it is a motion to fill in the time today because the ACT government is out of ideas.

Having said that, everyday Canberrans want to see action. We do not need more work or progress statements from the government; we want disability services, health services, transport, housing and community services, education, jobs, and communication that is inclusive—indeed, every aspect of our social, economic and political life.

We are happy to support the motion today and have a progress statement. In that progress statement, I look forward to hearing Ms Berry talk about access to Auslan interpreters in Canberra and how she is going to ensure the delivery of Auslan certificate II and certificate III at CIT into the future. That would be real progress in social inclusion for people who are deaf.

I look forward to seeing the ACT government take action to make Canberra a more socially inclusive city. It would be one step closer to the government rising to the challenge. We are happy to support the motion today.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Urban Renewal and Minister for Tourism and Events) (4.12:): I welcome Dr Bourke’s motion today on the importance of social inclusion and equality, and reaffirm this government’s commitment to ensure that all Canberra residents are able to fully connect with their community.

As Chief Minister, one of my priorities is to ensure that Canberra remains an inclusive and egalitarian city. We are a vibrant, multicultural, cohesive and supportive place to live. Canberra is a great place to grow up, to work, to socialise and to raise a family. Canberra is a city that must support all of its citizens regardless of gender, age, the country of their birth, the colour of their skin, their sexuality, whether or not they are in full health and physically able, who they share their household and their life with, or where they live. I want to keep it that way, and I want to make sure that all Canberrans understand that they are valued and supported members of our community.

To help in this objective, I have appointed Minister Berry as the Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Social Inclusion and Equality. This is in addition to Minister Berry’s other important and complementary ministerial responsibilities in housing, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs, community services, multicultural affairs and women. I know that Ms Berry is hard at work engaging with community groups and listening to people’s views, experiences and concerns.

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