Queensland Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs Andrew Cripps
The Case Of The Missing Multicultural Awards
Victor P Taffa
Queensland’s most outstanding multicultural groups and workers went unrecognised in 2009, when the Queensland Multicultural Awards mysteriously disappeared.
Minister for Multicultural Affairs Annastacia Palaszczuk finally admitted today that the award ceremony, the highlight of the Queensland multicultural community’s calendar, was cancelled because her department had other priorities, being a Multiculturalism Policy discussion paper.
Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs Andrew Cripps said it was absurd that an entire department could be tied up for months on a 15-page discussion paper, which contained just six questions, some graphs and some pretty pictures.
“If this paper contained detailed plans of how this Government intended to build greater connections between Queensland’s diverse communities, then I could understand the delay in the presentation of the 2009 Queensland Multicultural Awards.” Mr. Cripps said.
“However, this paper is completely devoid of any ideas and is instead seeking suggestions from the community for hints on how to develop a Multicultural Policy.”
Mr. Cripps questioned the Minister during a Parliamentary Estimates Committee Hearing about who had won the 2009 prizes, forcing the Minister to finally admit the awards were not held at all.
“Quite simply this is not good enough, it appears this paper was actually completed and launched at least a month before the awards should have been held.” Mr. Cripps said.
“The Queensland Multicultural Awards have been an annual event since 1990 and have been an important part of recognising the efforts of many organisations and individuals, often at the grassroots level, who have supported and promoted culturally and linguistically diverse communities across the State.”
“This is an embarrassing mistake by a Minister who holds herself up as a champion of diverse communities in Queensland, but Minister Palaszczuk has dropped the ball.” Mr. Cripps said.