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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 February 2016) . . Page.. 182 ..

seniors—grants program, the participation—multicultural—grants program, the community language schools grants program and the community support and infrastructure grants program.

In relation to reporting back to the Assembly on this matter, I will happily do so. Mrs Jones would know that I have recently provided her with some information about the implementation of the One Canberra Reference Group report, which I will expand on and share with all members of the Assembly.

Once again, I thank Mrs Jones for this motion, which we will be supporting today, and thank Canberrans for being part of a community who take each other as we are, where our differences are respected and celebrated, and where we say “welcome”, regardless of our different backgrounds. We are a government that is committed to ensuring that this work continues through protective laws, enabling policies, and community connectedness because we recognise the contribution each person makes to the strength, harmony and vigour of Canberra’s social, cultural and economic life and that it is important to our city’s strength.

We will continue to support refugees and migrants and linguistically and culturally diverse Canberrans to celebrate our differences and to acknowledge that these differences are awesome and they are what makes our community strong. It is what contributes to make Canberra a national leader in social inclusion and equality. The government will be supporting the motion.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (4.40): I am happy to be supporting the motion today and I thank Mrs Jones for bringing it forward. Canberra is an inclusive and welcoming city with a rich and diverse society made up of people from many different ethnicities, faiths and cultures. Our country is the wonderful place that it is because of the richness of our cultural fabric and the great contribution of people from all different backgrounds who have made Australia their home.

The ACT Greens believe that cultural and linguistic diversity greatly enriches our community and should not just be accepted but also celebrated and encouraged. This weekend, of course, will be a wonderful demonstration of this as we come together to celebrate our diversity at the National Multicultural Festival. Right on cue, the weather is going to be baking hot this weekend, as it always seems to be for the festival. I am sure that people will have a great time out there and I hope everyone does so safely.

As a community and as a government, the ACT has welcomed newly arrived refugees, people who are fleeing persecution and war and seeking safety for themselves and their families in a new country. I only wish that our federal government had the same generosity of spirit. It is disappointing that it has been left to the state and territory governments to show leadership and offer to give refuge to the 267 asylum seekers currently slated for deportation to the hellhole of Nauru, including many innocent babies and young children. I echo the calls of my federal colleagues and urge the Prime Minister to do the right thing when it comes to these very vulnerable people and let them stay in Australia. Our community welcomes them.

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