Page 948 - Week 03 - Thursday, 22 March 2018

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As I have said, the ACT has a strong commitment to cultural diversity, cohesion and inclusion—a commitment to ensuring that everyone is able to participate in our community, a commitment to welcoming refugees and asylum seekers in our city. It will be good to see this commitment reflected in the words and actions of each of us in this place. I again thank Mr Rattenbury for bringing forward this motion and I commend it to the Assembly wholeheartedly.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (12.36), in reply: I appreciate members extending the debate into their lunchbreak so that we can finish this matter in a timely way today. I also welcome members’ support for this motion. It is important that we raise these views with the federal government. Some might say that it is not a matter for the ACT government, but this is clearly a matter that does affect our community. The presence of so many members of the Canberra community in the public gallery today demonstrates the local passion for this issue.

I think it is quite right that we make this case to the federal government. I implore the federal government, when they receive a letter from us, to reflect carefully on these matters and to make the adjustments to the program that I alluded to earlier to make it easier and more practical for those generous people in Australia who want to support refugees to come here to do so.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Sitting suspended from 12.37 to 2.30 pm.

Ministerial arrangements

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism and Major Events): The Deputy Chief Minister will need to leave question time at 3.15 pm in order to undertake a travel commitment. I will take any questions after 3.15. I also understand that my colleagues will cooperate to ensure that any questions for the Deputy Chief Minister can be asked by the opposition before 3.15.

Questions without notice

Land—Dickson purchase

MR COE: My question is for the Chief Minister. Through questioning in this place you have repeatedly stated that you and your government had no input into or influence on the land swap deal in Dickson. However, the Auditor-General’s report includes this transcript. The former director said:

The reality was that the Tradies were close allies of the … government and the Labor Party... the head of the Tradies was very confident that he had the government on side.

The audit office asked:

Which minister was in at that particular stage?

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