NSW Shadow Minister for Citizenship and Communities Guy Zangari has criticised the Liberal Party for cancelling multicultural community grants to 130 projects across Sydney and NSW. Mr Zangari called on Premier Barry O’Farrell to make up the funding shortfall.
In all, a total of 130 projects in NSW worth $5 million have been cancelled. These include:
- Hindu Society of NSW – $75,600 cut – reportedly thesefunds were for temple renovation/restoration works;
- Bankstown Multicultural Youth Service –$152,036 cut;
- Australian Chinese Buddhist Temple in Bonnyrigg – $150,000 cut;
- Assyrian Resource Centre in Fairfield – $150,000 cut.
Mr Zangari said the cut to the program was gross hypocrisy by the Liberal Party given it had made a great show of multicultural outreach at the 2011 State and 2013 Federal elections.”
Responding to the criticism form Zangari, Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominellohas questioned the shadow minister’s defence of the Rudd-Gillard Government funding, “cynically promised to multicultural organisations five minutes before their impending electoral demise”.
Mr Dominello said: “It was reckless and cruel of the Federal Labor Government to make promises to multicultural organisations they knew they would never be asked to deliver.
“Labor had six years to roll-out a program in an organised and transparent way. Instead they chose to introduce $4.55 million in ‘one-off’ funding three months before the Federal election.”
Community groups were sent letters of offer in August 2013, during the Caretaker period of the Federal Election, for applications made under the Building Multicultural Communities Program.
In light of the current state of the Federal Budget, with Labor’s $144 billion debt legacy, the Commonwealth Department of Social Services has withdrawn offers of funding, a media release from the minister’s office said.