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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 14 February 2018) . . Page.. 161 ..

MADAM SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Gentleman.

Mr Gentleman: Mr Wall has continually interjected while Minister Berry has been trying to answer his question. I ask that you bring him to order, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: I remind members that ministers should be heard in silence or, at worst, in relative silence. Do you have anything else to add, minister?

MS BERRY: No thank you.

MS LEE: Minister, why is the government failing to act on improving literacy and numeracy, given that national and international studies are consistently showing that the ACT is losing ground?

MS BERRY: The ACT government has not failed to act.

National Multicultural Festival—service of alcohol

MRS KIKKERT: My question is to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. Minister, in an ABC radio interview on 24 January you said that concern over responsible service of alcohol monitoring was one of the reasons for this year’s ban on community organisations selling alcohol at the Multicultural Festival. The Liquor Act exempts non-profit organisations with non-commercial liquor permits from this requirement. Why have volunteers from multicultural community organisations been singled out for concerns over potential lack of RSA training when the law clearly allows for this?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mrs Kikkert for her question and for her ongoing interest in the Multicultural Festival, an interest that I am sure all members of this place share. I am sure that all members will be enjoying the Multicultural Festival this weekend, which will be a fantastic festival.

I want to emphasise that the organising team for the festival has worked very hard over the past couple of years to make the festival as inclusive and as family friendly as possible. It continues to act on feedback not only from stallholders but also from festivalgoers to ensure that the festival is as inclusive a place as possible. In that context, responsible service of alcohol is not only about having a qualification; it is about ensuring that alcohol is served and consumed responsibly across the festival footprint.

We have of course had mixed feedback both from stallholders and from festivalgoers about the atmosphere at the festival. I know that people have talked about the number of arrests made at last year’s festival being low. But I do not think that arrests are necessarily the only indication of how we want people to behave at our Multicultural Festival. So this measure has been taken, as I have said many times, in an attempt to ensure—

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