Shadow Minister for Citizenship and Multiculturalism, Michelle Rowland has joined Member for Watson, Tony Burke today to meet with local community organisations that have had their funding cut by the Abbott Government.

Ms Rowland and Mr Burke visited the United Muslim Women Association in Lakemba to discuss the impact of the Abbott Government’s decision to rip $150,000 from the organisation.  

Ms Rowland and Mr Burke also met with the Melkite Welfare Association and Metro Assist to discuss multicultural policy and the impact of the Abbott Government’s cuts to their organisations. 

“The United Muslim Women Association works to ensure women have the opportunities to actively participate in and contribute to Australia's diverse society,” Ms Rowland said.

“This organisation offers a range of support services, including domestic violence services, and works to empower women and drive positive change in the local community.

"The Abbott Government's cuts will mean this organisation will not be able to reach further into the community and achieve positive outcomes for more people.

The best way that governments can help build inclusive, harmonious communities is from the bottom up, by supporting grassroots organisations like the United Muslim Women Association.”

Mr Burke said organisations and people living in Watson would be among those most affected by funding cuts.

“People in our local area come from a variety of multicultural backgrounds and rely on organisations such as the United Muslim Women Association for important support services,” Mr Burke said.

“The MWA offers a range of skills development opportunities such as childcare courses and English language courses to address the barriers for women getting into the workforce  

“At the end of March the MWA will lose a staff member as a result of Government cuts, despite Tony Abbott telling Parliament last week funding had been extended to July.

“The Government needs to be strengthening our society by helping people participate in their communities and in the economy, not cutting services.” 

“In contrast to the Coalition, Labor will have a strategic approach to multicultural policy that will seek to harness the economic and social capacity of our multicultural communities,” Ms Rowland said.