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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 12 May 2015) . . Page.. 1588 ..

This government plays a role in doing what must be done so that all Canberrans can live a good life in this great city. We can support people who are experiencing social exclusion by listening and by valuing their experiences, and we can let this help shape our responses to exclusion. Our actions already show we have a clear purpose and shared objectives across government and with our community sector partners. We know our actions are grounded in an evidence-based response, but we cannot lose sight of the fact that inclusion is also about working together to remove barriers to inclusion.

Individuals must feel a sense of ownership and relationship to the things that are shaping our communities, and social inclusion is one of these things. Each of us must be vigilant about the things that push people out of communities, foster marginalisation and result in people having little or no support to change their world. Each of us can take actions, be they small or large, which collectively reflect the kind of society we want for ourselves and for future generations.

I want to assure Canberrans that social inclusion and equality is part of business, that it is a focus of this government and that we will strive to meet every Canberran where they are and help them get to where they want to be. I invite everyone to be part of delivering on this commitment.

I present the following paper:

Progress statement on social inclusion—Ministerial statement, 12 May 2015.

I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Urban Renewal and Minister for Tourism and Events) (11.01): I am pleased to speak in support of Minister Berry’s statement on the government’s progress to strengthen social inclusion and equality in the territory. I have made it very clear that social inclusion is essential to ensuring that our city remains a welcoming, supportive, vibrant and cohesive place to live. Each and every Canberran must be a valued and supported part of our community. To ensure these words and this sentiment really mean something, all of our residents must be able to fully connect with support services, community associations and positive friendship groups to allow them to reach their full potential. Canberra must continue to support all of its citizens, no matter their country of birth, the colour of their skin, their sexuality, their age or whether they live with a disability.

This is a belief I share with every member of this government, and none more so than Minister Berry. Since I appointed Minister Berry as minister assisting me on social inclusion and equality she has enthusiastically progressed the government’s social inclusion agenda alongside her range of complementary ministerial responsibilities in housing, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs, community services, multicultural affairs and women.

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