Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 20 September 2017) . . Page.. 3960 ..
He is the sole carer for his two little brothers aged nine and 10, and his father who six weeks ago had open-heart surgery. His dad was then terminated from his job as a truck driver when he was unable to work due to his ill-health. The boys’ mother died last year of cancer aged just 39.
I could go on. I have more examples here, about poor record-keeping for people receiving mental health care in Canberra, according to the Auditor-General; more Canberra kids in care as advocates call for community prevention; articles about the Ngunnawal Bush Healing Farm—that it is no longer going to be a residential service, as was originally promised; a mother not told her sons were bashed in the Alexander Maconochie Centre until days later; the ACT suburbs with the highest and lowest levels of educational disadvantage; and that, unfortunately and unacceptably, lower educational performance in schools correlated with a higher proportion of students from a low socio-economic background.
There is still much to be done. I also note that, unlike sustainable development goal 10, this motion does not talk about freedom of religion. I take Mr Barr’s point, and I can agree with him, about freedom from religion. That does not mean that we should not support freedom of religion, and I am a bit disappointed that it was left out of this motion.
Let us not engage in an orgy of self-congratulation about how well we are doing. Let us focus on doing more. Let us focus on outcomes. Let us focus on supporting those Canberrans who need our help, and not bring a grab bag of multiple different things, ranging from women in sport to justice reinvention—a huge grab bag of different things. (Time expired.)
MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra) (12.14): The people of Canberra bring this city to life, with myriad languages, foods, arts and festivals that reflect our diverse community. Living amongst such a rich mix of people gives us valuable opportunities to be exposed to new perspectives, skills and life experiences. We learn from each other, and our differences give us fuel to grow and develop as individuals, to embrace unfamiliar ideas and to foster tolerance. We have heard today about the practical steps that the ACT government is taking to create a welcoming city for all Canberrans. Whether you are LGBTIQ, a refugee, you are learning English as a second language, facing economic disadvantage, or finding your way back from the justice system, Canberra is your home, and you deserve to have the same opportunities as anyone else.
I thank all members for their contributions and for their strong support for the majority of this motion today. I note that Labor, like the Greens, will not be supporting the amendment put forward by Mr Parton. I do think that some of Mr Parton’s statements were hyperbolic and conflated. They have largely been addressed by the ministers who have spoken, and I do not think I need to legitimise them further with a response. Ironically, I note that the last part of Mr Parton’s amendment is probably the most divisively written thing he could have come up with, and I also note for the record his apparent reluctance in putting it forward.