The Cultural and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities were promised big things in the State Budget on 2 May, but have been caught out by the Andrews Labor Government
Promises of building a strong and resilient community, and a socially cohesive society, have been abandoned in favour of Daniel Andrews’s social reform agenda—an agenda that some say amalgamates the multicultural affairs portfolio with the LGBTQIA+ community under the banner of diversity, said Ms Inga Peulich MLC, Member for South Eastern Metropolitan Region, and Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs.
Ethnic, multicultural and faith communities should be furious at such disproportionate funding priorities that favour and promote Daniel Andrews’ social engineering agenda.
The Andrews Government manipulation of the multicultural affairs portfolio means that what little funding allocated will make almost no positive difference to the lives of CALD communities.
Multicultural Affairs policy and programs will be short-changed $2.7 million, and there will be:
Close to 20 percent decrease in the number of consultations with our CALD communities at a time where consultation is so important in framing social cohesion and diversity policies that will better enhance and integrate our multicultural and emerging communities; No funding to sustain and develop services in local councils experiencing higher than average demand due to increase in residents from new and emerging communities; No emphasis on boosting Cultural Diversity Week attendance or flagship event events like Victoria’s Multicultural Festival; No funding for specialised Cultural Hubs; No specialised employment services for disadvantaged job seekers from migrant and refugee backgrounds; No funding for capacity building for ethno-specific community services for culturally diverse aged care; and No increase to the proportion of grants to organisations supporting our multicultural communities in regional Victoria.
“Daniel Andrews claims to have embraced Multicultural Victoria, but continues to dilute and short-change the portfolio,” said Ms Peulich.
“The Andrews Government has short-changed CALD communities at a time when our multicultural communities are becoming socially isolated, struggling to find jobs, being hurt with ever increasing cost of living pressures, and soaring crime rates,” she added.