Thursday, 21 March 2024


Regional ethnic community council funding

Regional ethnic community council funding

Joe McCRACKEN (Western Victoria) (17:49): (808) My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. It concerns the ongoing funding to regional ethnic community councils – such as the Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council and the Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services, amongst others – who work within the umbrella of the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria. The action that I seek is for the minister to give an assurance that ongoing funding will be made available to support the ongoing work of regional multicultural councils so they can continue their support of various people in their care.

I note that the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria wrote to the minister on 4 December 2023 requesting the continuation of two specific programs in particular, the first one being the Strategic Engagement Coordinator program and the second, the Strategic Partnership Program. The aim is to ensure that there are uninterrupted critical support services for vulnerable multicultural community members while securing employment and job security for skilled staff and those staff who often have very deep links into multicultural communities. They also submitted a prebudget submission to the government, which outlines a number of key requests, which I have available to me as well and which I have seen.

I guess my message to the minister is: I will be watching, and I will be making very, very careful judgements about what is happening in this space to ensure that the government does indeed continue the funding to support multicultural councils, particularly in regional areas, to support the ongoing work that is needed to ensure that multicultural communities not only survive but flourish and to ensure their continued growth into the future. Ultimately, all this work is in place to ensure that people from all different backgrounds, from all different racial groups and all different ethnic groups have the support and care that they need so that they can thrive in our community.