MICHELLE ROWLAND MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CITIZENSHIP AND MULTICULTURALISM
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS
MEMBER FOR GREENWAY
NICK CHAMPION MP
MEMBER FOR WAKEFIELD
WAKEFIELD COMMUNITY STANDS UP FOR MULTICULTURALISM
Wakefield residents have made clear their opposition to the Abbott Government’s assault on multiculturalism during a community information session held at the Playford Civic Centre last night.
Shadow Minister for Citizenship and Multiculturalism, Michelle Rowland addressed the forum hosted by Member for Wakefield, Nick Champion.
Key concerns raised at the information session included cuts to funding for multicultural programs, the SBS, the Government’s proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act, as well as the abolition of the non-contributory parent visa.
Ms Rowland said the Abbott Government had abandoned multiculturalism and betrayed ethnic communities right around the country.
“$33 million was cut from multicultural grants in the Budget. These huge cuts call into question the Abbott Government’s commitment to multiculturalism in Australia. It is one thing to say you support multiculturalism, but actions speak louder than words,” Ms Rowland said.
“Tony Abbott directly appealed to many different cultural and ethnic communities for their votes in the 2013 election campaign. These cuts are a betrayal of their trust,” Ms Rowland said.
Despite promising on the eve of the 2013 election that no cuts would be made to the SBS, Tony Abbott has gone ahead and cut $8 million from the SBS which already operates very efficiently.
“This Federal Budget represents a number of clear broken promises by Tony Abbott to the New Communities of Wakefield,” Mr Champion said.
“This is yet another example of Tony Abbott’s twisted budget priorities.”
Among the issues raised by forum attendees was the Government’s proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act which would significantly weaken protections against racist hate speech.
“The Abbott Government’s proposed amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act show an alarming lack of understanding and appreciation of the dynamics of Australia’s diverse society,” Ms Rowland said.
“It is clear that communities here in Wakefield and right across the country are deeply opposed to these changes. They should not make it to the floor of the parliament.”
FRIDAY, 13 JUNE 2014