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Minister congratulates national school debating champions NSW.

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Gary Hardgrave MP Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs

Media Release H70/2003 - 24 May 2003

Minister Congratulates National School Debating Champions NSW

The Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Gary Hardgrave, today congratulated the New South Wales State team for winning the grand final at the Immigration National Schools Debating Championship.

NSW successfully debated that Australia's strategy on boat people was a success, edging out Tasmania in a highly competitive debate at the Queensland Parliament House this afternoon.

Mr Hardgrave was guest of honour at the debate, and briefed the participants before the grand final.

"I was very impressed with the quality of both teams," Mr Hardgrave said.

"They both showed excellent understanding of a complex and topical subject, and elucidated their cases well.

"Students who are involved in debating learn to research both sides of an issue. This is a skill which will stand them in good stead throughout life," he said.

"By learning to explore the nuances and subtleties surrounding important issues, students can come to an informed decision.

"There are few more complex social issues than those relating to immigration and multicultural affairs, and I was very impressed with the arguments put forward by both teams," he said.

The New South Wales team won their preliminary final against Australian Capital Territory to make it to the grand final.

Tasmania graduated to the grand final, for the first time in more than 20 years, after successfully debating against Queensland.

Both teams were represented in the Australian National Debating Team announced at the completion of the debate.

The winning team will travel to Canberra to meet the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Philip Ruddock, spend time with Mr Hardgrave, and watch Parliament in action.

Media contact: Amanda Lynch 0419 123 862