Hansard ID: HANSARD-1323879322-124423
Hansard session: Fifty-Seventh Parliament, First Session (57-1)
Ms WENDY LINDSAY (East Hills) (15:24:01):
My question is addressed to the Minister for Multiculturalism. Will the Minister please update the House on how the Government is securing a brighter future for New South Wales by investing in our multicultural communities?
Mr MARK COURE (OatleyMinister for Multiculturalism, and Minister for Seniors) (15:24:27):
— I thank the member for East Hills for her question and her outstanding advocacy on behalf of local multicultural community groups and leaders. Well done to the member for East Hills. As I have said time and again in this place, we must all continue working hard to not just maintain our great multicultural society but also to build on it.
Ms Yasmin Catley:
Did you write this?
Mr MARK COURE:
I did. The New South Wales Liberal‑Nationals Government has an incredibly strong track record when it comes to this through its help and support for, and investment into, multicultural communities. For example, last month the Government invested a quarter of a million dollars into the Ramadan Nights festival in Lakemba.
Mr Jihad Dib:
The best investment.
Mr MARK COURE:
The best investment, I hear. It is Australia's biggest cultural event, with more than one million visitors attending over the 30 days of Ramadan this year. It was the biggest crowd in the festival's history—four times larger than when it was last held in 2019. I can say firsthand that Haldon Street was an extraordinary sight. The shops and stalls were jam‑packed with locals and visitors alike, who came from far and wide to enjoy what the Middle Eastern culture has to offer. As the members for East Hills and Lakemba will tell you—and, of course, the member for Rockdale, who was there as well—the festival is about more than just camel burgers, falafel and knafeh. It is also about promoting a greater understanding of our faiths and cultures here in New South Wales. Shoosh, shoosh, shoosh!
Mr MARK COURE:Time expired.
I am doing your job, Mr Speaker. The many values of Ramadan, which include charity, family and a deepening sense of community, are shared by people right across New South Wales. It is those same values that drive the Government to continue investing in multicultural communities. But it is not just celebrations and events; the Government has also invested into those who come to our State to secure a better life and a new beginning for themselves and their families. As we have seen clearly just in the past few months, New South Wales is a safe haven for those fleeing conflict. I am proud that the Government has invested in targeted programs, which are assisting new and emerging communities with employment, health, education and legal services. Since 2016 it has invested $190 million into initiatives to ensure that new arrivals are set on the best possible path to a brighter future. Among those initiatives there is a real focus on strengthening employment opportunities for people, who in turn are able to support themselves and their families.