Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 14 Hansard (Wednesday, 29 November 2017) . . Page.. 5201 ..
also make it easier for Canberrans to travel, with more direct flights to more destinations.
Amongst Canberra’s numerous achievements this year we also proved ourselves as a progressive and inclusive city. Whilst the Canberra community did not want to participate in the divisive marriage equality survey, Canberrans rallied in support of the LGBTIQ members of our community. Our government’s support for the LGBTIQ community reflected the needs of our community. The results of the survey saw 82.4 per cent of eligible Canberrans vote, the largest participation rate in the country. For a non-compulsory vote this is a great result and shows that we have a strong civic culture. Of those Canberrans who voted, 74 per cent voted in favour of marriage equality. This was the highest yes vote of any state or territory in Australia and indicates the overwhelming support Canberrans have for fairness and equality. The celebratory party in Braddon represented the best of Canberra, an almost spontaneous celebration in the centre of our beautiful city.
2017 has been an enormous year for Canberra, and an opportunity for our city to continue to grow. More and more people are making Canberra their home. Our new status as a top tourist destination will ensure more visitors will come and further boost our economy. People all across Canberra have worked together to improve our city with passionate new ideas.
I congratulate our Labor government on helping to facilitate these achievements. Canberra is well positioned for the future. I call on all members of this place to support Canberra and the initiatives that have put our city in the strong position that we are in now. Canberra is a fantastic city and is worth celebrating.
MR MILLIGAN (Yerrabi) (10.11): In glancing through this motion I noticed a big gap in the self-congratulatory list—almost as big as the gap experienced by the Indigenous community. Yes, there were no wins for our territory Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders. This has been an ongoing issue with this government.
In a recent meeting with some of the department people, I was advised that they were moving away from the deficit language of closing the gap and wanting to move to a more forward-looking framework. But there is a sad reality for Indigenous people: changing the language is not going to make any difference; it is merely window-dressing—or, as I have heard one person describe it, “black cladding”.
It will not be until the government starts to actually make some changes to programs and processes that we will see an improvement in the outcomes for Indigenous people. I have spoken here many times of the failures. In June I spoke on the failure of this government to deliver a drug and alcohol rehab centre to meet the urgent and ongoing needs of the Indigenous community—people having to travel interstate, away from family, for the support that they desperately need.
I have spoken at length over the last few months on the failure of this government to support new initiatives in education. In August I spoke on my disappointment at not seeing any new funding in the budget for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students which would address the severe deficits experienced in both NAPLAN