Senate Estimates has again confirmed the low priority the Abbott Government has placed on developing its own multicultural policy.

Despite saying in previous Estimates that the Government was in the process of developing its own policy, the Department of Social Services revealed the Government has only had one meeting to discuss whether to proceed.

It was also revealed that the Government has no timetable for releasing a policy.

After over 18 months in office, the Abbott Government has not moved to articulate a policy on multiculturalism.

Instead we constantly hear divisive rhetoric from the likes of Liberal Senator, Cory Bernardi and most recently, Nationals MP, George Christensen who said, “Multiculturalism is basically cultural relativism dressed up in ethnic garb” and that “we need to leave multiculturalism behind”.

Our cultural diversity has greatly enriched and strengthened our economic and social capacity. Our nation and its institutions have been fortified by the ideas, ingenuity and dedication of people who have migrated and now call Australia home, but this does not happen by chance.

Multicultural policy is a crucial way to ensure that all Australians, regardless of their background, have the opportunity to contribute to the economic and social success of our nation.

The Abbott Government has dragged its feet on this important policy area and it shows it cannot be taken seriously when it comes to multiculturalism.