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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 13 September 2017) . . Page.. 3615 ..

Diversity in language, culture and experiences is only a strength of our community because it is the people, with their shared and diverse cultural experiences and hopes, that make a city a home. I thank the Bangladeshi community for everything that they have done and do for the Canberra community and for being here today. I also thank Mr Coe for bringing this motion to the Assembly and for giving us the opportunity to talk on this important matter in this chamber. I commend his motion to the Assembly.

MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (12.00): I would like to thank all members of this place for their support for this motion. It is rare that on private members’ day we have such support. I do think it is an important issue, and it is a demonstration that this Assembly really does value the multicultural community and, in particular, values the importance of language for our society.

There are a number of people and organisations that I would like to thank. In particular, I would like to thank the Mother Language Conservation Movement, and individuals Nirmal Paul, Enam Hoque, Ajoy Kar, Ignatius Rozario, Victor Matilanca, Dr Ezaz Mamun, Dr Zamir Hussain, Councillor Mohamed Zaman Titu, Councillor Masood Chowdhury, Shawpna Banu Kamrul, Hasan Khan and Pervejul Alam.

I was particularly heartened by the in-principle support that the minister gave for a monument in Canberra. Of course, these things are not easy. These things are always complicated, in terms of making sure that the relevant stakeholders are engaged, including the commonwealth and the National Capital Authority, if it is indeed in that parliamentary zone or in one of the other areas controlled by the commonwealth. I think it is an important demonstration, and I think it is worth the Assembly getting behind. I know the opposition is very keen to work with the government and with other stakeholders in order to get this monument off the ground.

In conclusion, I think mother languages, indeed all languages, are central to the principles of sovereignty. To that end, I think it is so important that we do all we can to recognise the sovereignty of individuals, the sovereignty of culture, and of course the sovereignty of nations. Language is also, as demonstrated in the contributions of Ms Lee and Mrs Kikkert, central to personal identity. It is central to who we are as people. It is, of course, central to our culture, it is central to our community here in Canberra and, above all, I believe it is central to our future. I very much thank all members of the Assembly for their support for this motion and hope that it will lead to some tangible demonstration of this Assembly’s and this territory’s commitment to mother languages.

Amendments agreed to.

Original question, as amended, resolved in the affirmative.

Mount Taylor recreation precinct—access

MR PARTON (Brindabella) (12.04): I move:

That this Assembly:

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