Following the revelation of the 2018-19 Budget, Labor proceeded to call on the Turnbull Government to reverse its unfair changes to Assurance of Support requirements, accusing the Coalition of introducing said changes without any community consultation.
“The Turnbull Government has cruelly moved the goalposts on thousands of migrant families,” Tony Burke MP said, backed by fellow Labor MPs and several crossbench Greens senators. “If a couple wants to arrange for their parents to settle in Australia, they will need to earn a combined $115,475 a year, instead of $45,185.”
Facing significant backlash from the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils in Australia, given that the changes would have impacted a wide range of visa categories, the Coalition had to back down in a decision made on Wednesday evening for fear of a disallowance motion going through.
Social Services minister Dan Tehran responded to Greens Senator Jenny Mackin the same day saying that “The government wanted to ensure these visas continued to be processed,” the Guardian reported.
“The government will introduce a revised determination that addresses Senator McKim’s concerns,” he concluded.
At the same time, the Turnbull Government has introduced a $5 million grants program for measures that support social cohesion and integration of migrants into the community.
The Fostering Integration Grants program will support the delivery of one-off projects and new or expanded initiatives that encourage economic and social participation of new arrivals, including activities that promote employment and participation in the broader community.
The Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge said the program reaffirms the government’s commitment to Australia’s unique form of multiculturalism.
“The key to the success of multiculturalism in Australia is our strong emphasis on integration. We want to ensure that new migrants share our Australian values, contribute to our economic prosperity, and participate fully in our society,” Mr Tudge said.
“We want migrants to succeed and to make the most of the opportunities that this great nation has to offer, just as previous generations have done. These grants will help local community groups to deliver programs and activities that give migrants the best chance of succeeding – assisting them to integrate into Australian economic, social and civil life, while promoting Australian values.”
Applications for the grants will open in the second half of 2018 and will be advertised on GrantConnect, the Federal Government’s grant information system.
For more information head to grants.gov.au/