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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 September 2015) . . Page.. 3447 ..

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (5.01), in reply: I would like to thank members for their support for my motion, in particular Mrs Jones and ministers Berry and Rattenbury. This motion is a particularly important one that allows us to remind ourselves here in Canberra about, as I said in the motion, the wealth of culture that makes up our community; the real importance of needing to maintain our understanding and appreciation of that wealth to promote harmony and further inclusion into the future; the need to acknowledge the contribution to that multiculturalism by all of us in our community, not just government; and that this is particularly important for the wellbeing of Canberra as a community. It is acknowledging the role of government in its commitment to promoting multiculturalism, particularly through the two events that I mentioned: windows to the world and the National Multicultural Festival which we enjoy so much. And, of course, it is calling on the government to continue that commitment.

In the few moments I have left, I would like to talk a bit more about multiculturalism and why I like to say it is Australia’s greatest achievement. The brand of multiculturalism that we have here in our country is a bit different. We say that you can come to our country, you can bring your culture, your language and your differences with you and enjoy and practise them there, and we will enjoy and celebrate that. Many countries do that, but what we do differently in Australia is to say, “If we like something that you are doing, we are going to take it and make it part of our Australian culture too.” That is what is different about Australian multiculturalism, and it is something we should be very proud of.

Motion agreed to.

Distinguished visitors

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (5.03): Before I call the next motion, I would like to acknowledge the presence in the gallery of Mr Manuel Gutierrez Ruiz, the ambassador for El Salvador in Australia; the deputy minister for foreign affairs for El Salvador, Liduvina Margarin; and some other members of the El Salvadorian community in the ACT. Welcome to the Assembly.

Planning—solar access

MR COE (Ginninderra) (5.03): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes, regarding the Government’s solar access rules, that:

(a) the controversial rules were brought in with strong concerns raised by many in the community, including the Planning Institute, Property Council, Institute of Architects, Institute of Landscape Architects, Housing Industry Association and Master Builders Australia;

(b) as a result of the variation, estate plans are sub-optimally designed featuring energy inefficient houses;

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