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Victoria Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship Nicholas Kotsiras

Coalition To Make VIC Multicultural Commission Independent

Victor P Taffa

A Coalition Government will give the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) greater autonomy to assist and strengthen the role of migrant and refugee communities in Victoria.

Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship Nicholas Kotsiras told the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) Conference today that Premier John Brumby had not done enough to help Victoria’s migrant and refugee communities.

“John Brumby has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on self-promoting party-political advertising instead of helping multicultural communities and protecting international students from violent attacks.” Mr. Kotsiras said.

“Under a Coalition Government, the VMC will no longer be an offshoot of government but a voice for the community, which faces challenges such as settlement, social inclusion, economic participation, employment, education, English language training, health, housing and discrimination.”

“Our multicultural communities want support and encouragement from government instead of seeing money wasted on self-promoting government advertising by John Brumby.” Mr. Kotsiras said.

Mr. Kotsiras said a Coalition Government will:

  • Allow the VMC to research or investigate any matter relating to the Commission’s objectives that the Commission considers appropriate, with or without the approval of the Minister;
  • Ensure that all government departments and agencies give the Commission all necessary assistance and make available necessary information with respect to any investigation undertaken by the Commission;
  • Include one commissioner from the ECCV, elected by the ECCV, to ensure that the Commission’s workings and deliberations are open and transparent;
  • Include one youth commissioner, who is not less than 18 years of age and not more than 24 years of age at the time of the appointment.

“Victoria’s newly arrived migrant and refugees deserve better than this tired and out of touch Brumby Government.” Mr. Kotsiras said.

“Programs aimed at helping our Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities should be able to be measured in an open, transparent and meaningful way.”

“By making the Commission independent, the Coalition will ensure that government is held accountable for the delivery and efficiency of these programs.” Mr. Kotsiras said.

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