Page 3547 - Week 09 - Thursday, 23 August 2018

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That was the advice I was given. I consistently said that the advice was that ACT Policing was concerned about the level of alcohol sales and intoxication on the footprint. The documents released under the FOI absolutely confirm that that was a concern of ACT Policing—absolutely confirm that that was a concern of ACT Policing.

Multicultural affairs—multicultural acceptance and community cohesion

MR STEEL: My question is also to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. Minister, what is the ACT government doing to combat racism and to strengthen social cohesion?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Steel for his question and I am sorry that I will not be receiving any from him in the future; except of course I note that I welcome him to the ministry. Our community is made up of many cultures, many religions and many languages. People have settled in our city from all over the world. This government is committed to ensuring that every Canberran is granted the opportunity to participate in society on equal terms.

That means pursuing your vision for the ACT where every resident is free from hate and vilification. That means working to make sure that every Canberran is free from attempts to misrepresent their community or their culture. That means setting a high standard for Canberra, a standard that refuses the divisive racial politics sometimes seen in other jurisdictions.

The ACT government is taking concrete steps to make sure that this high standard is reflected in all that we do. The ACT multicultural framework provides the structure for all government agencies to promote an inclusive and harmonious community through their respective programs and activities. The government also ensures that it provides opportunities for Canberrans to celebrate their culture through events such as Chinese New Year, Harmony Day, Ramadan, Diwali, Holi and World Refugee Day.

Of course, the National Multicultural Festival attracts thousands of people to our city each year for the ACT’s and Australia’s biggest celebration of cultural diversity. The recent reviews and the additional funding provided in the 2017-18 budget review and in the 2018-19 budget will further strengthen this wonderful celebration.

This government is also proud of the standards that guide our conduct in this place and our conduct as leaders in the community. In this regard, I would like to acknowledge that each and every member of this place shares a strong commitment to our multicultural community and its wellbeing. However, we should also remember that the standard we walk past is the standard we accept.

MR STEEL: Minister, are you aware of any other political leaders who are undermining cohesion and inclusion in our communities?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Steel for the supplementary. We all know things are a little crazy in the house up on the hill right now; apparently there are two Liberal Party members vying for the top job. One of them is, of course, Peter Dutton, a man

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