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Tuesday, 1 February 1994
Page: 108

(Question No. 745)

Mr Campbell asked the Minister representing the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Multicultural Affairs, upon notice, on 14 December 1993:

  (1) Further to the answer to question No. 377 (Hansard, 20 October 1993, page 2325), is Mr Yamine a member of any ethnically based organisation; if so, which organisations.

  (2) Does the answer imply that the majority of the members of the public are not interested parties in how taxes are allocated as part of the policy of multiculturalism.

  (3) Are the public being systematically excluded from the formulation of programs related to multiculturalism; if so, (a) does the Minister approve of the exclusion and (b) is the exclusion consistent with the Minister's approach to multiculturalism.

  (4) Do individual members of the public have the right to express their views on multiculturalism.

  (5) Has Mr Yamine failed to respond to a request to make available a list of submissions received during the review of funding of multicultural consultative mechanisms; if so, will the Minister provide me with a copy; if not, why not.

  (6) Has Mr Yamine kept a written record of every submission received; if not, why not.

  (7) Have any submissions been destroyed, disposed of or discarded; if so, what action will the Minister take as a result.

  (8) Will the Minister ensure that in the future the public is informed in advance of inquiries of the kind being conducted by Mr Yamine and provided with the opportunity to make submissions.

Mr Brereton —The Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Multicultural Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

  (1) Two critical factors in determining Mr Yamine's suitability to conduct the Review of the Commonwealth's Community-based Consultation Function in Multicultural Affairs were expertise and his assurance that his contacts with ethnic communities did not present any conflict of interest in relation to his involvement in the consultancy.

  (2) No.

  (3) No. In fact the Office of Multicultural Affairs consults widely. Recent examples of such consultations include the evaluation of the Access and Equity Strategy and the evaluation of the Community Relations Strategy.

  (4) Yes.

  (5) Not as far as I am aware. Mr Yamine has included an appendix in his report listing the names of all those who made submissions.

  (6) See (5) above.

  (7) Not as far as I am aware.

  (8) The presumption underlying Part 8 of this question is incorrect. As I indicated in my reply to Question 377, I issued a Press Release on 29 June 1993 announcing the Commonwealth's intention to conduct the review and the terms of reference. My press releases are public documents and not for the exclusive purview of particular sectors of our unique and successful multicultural society.