Page 415 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 14 February 2017

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The council will provide advice to the ACT government on how we can ensure that Canberra and Canberrans continue to pave the way as leaders in multiculturalism. The council will also assist with the implementation of the ACT multicultural framework 2015-2020 and help to organise a multicultural summit in 2018.

Individuals who represent or who have worked extensively with culturally and linguistically diverse communities are encouraged to apply. The council will have a term of three years and its first meeting is scheduled for late June 2017. While expressions of interest will not formally open until 28 February, we have already begun to promote this opportunity to make sure that as many people as possible are aware.

Canberra’s rich diversity should be enjoyed and celebrated. That is the purpose of events such as the National Multicultural Festival. It also needs to be supported and tended by leadership and policy frameworks and processes so that Canberra is not only lively and productive but also a place where its residents feel welcome, safe and enriched.

Discussion concluded.

Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 (No 3)

Debate resumed.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (4.31): Ms Le Couteur already spoke today about the particular elements of the bill relating to the recognition of out-of-jurisdictional relationships for same-sex couples, and I endorse those comments. In the spirit of keeping the debate short I will not add to them as my views on these matters are well-known in this place. I am pleased that whilst we are not able to move to a full place of marriage equality, the ACT is doing what it can to provide recognition of these significant relationships which are very important and which should be equal to any marriage that occurs in our community.

The other amendments in this omnibus bill are relatively minor. An amendment to the Coroners Act will allow the minister to redact information in a coroner’s report that is likely to identify the deceased after considering the concerns of immediate family in the context of the public interest to release this information about matters of public safety.

Redaction of information is always something we should think twice about as full disclosure and transparency is a far better position for government to be in where it is suitable. But there is a strong justification here in protecting the privacy of families about sensitive matters. The important learnings from coroners’ reports, such as recommendations to governments about ways to improve public safety, should not be impacted by such an approach. The important distinction is drawn here about respecting the privacy of families whilst ensuring the public purpose is still served through the publication of the important details of the coroner’s report.

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