Page 3966 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 20 September 2017

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MR GENTLEMAN: As I said, I would imagine that the authorities are considering the merits of the application, but at this stage I do not have any further information on it. I am happy to take that part of the question on notice and come back to the Assembly.

MS LAWDER: Minister, have you or your office had any engagement, conversations or interactions with the planning and land authority in regard to the extension of the lease for the Canberra Greyhound Racing Club?

MR GENTLEMAN: I certainly have not.

Government—inclusiveness policies

MS CHEYNE: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, can you please provide the Assembly with an overview of the ways in which the government is supporting diversity and inclusion in our community?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Cheyne for the question and for bringing this matter before the Assembly today. This presents an important opportunity to highlight the various ways that the government is working to make Canberra Australia’s most inclusive city. I would particularly highlight, in response to the member’s question, the support that we are providing for refugees and new migrants who are looking to enter the workforce, investments we are making in homelessness and housing support services, and the recent expansions to community transport services to support a range of vulnerable Canberrans.

We support inclusion in education through particularly significant investments in the needs of students with disabilities in the public school system and across the education system more broadly. We, of course, also have a very clear commitment to ensuring that Canberra schools are safe schools.

Whether you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person maintaining connection to country and culture, a refugee seeking to find haven from trouble, people struggling with homelessness, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex, or an older person wanting to stay connected, we as a government seek to provide services and to include you in our community.

But we do more than just saying it. Through our budget initiatives each year we seek to back that up with real investment in services and supports where they are needed. During what has been one of the most divisive periods in Australian political history—and certainly we are living through a few months of pretty distressing public debate on LGBTI issues—we have established the office for LGBTIQ affairs here in the ACT. This is an important initiative at this time for this community. (Time expired.)

MS CHEYNE: Chief Minister, can you please provide more detail on the refugee English courses and jobs services and the benefits these will provide to the community?

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