Labor’s vision for multiculturalism is encapsulated in the party’s Multicultural Statement, submitted in Parliament today.

Shadow Multicultural Affairs Minister Andrew Giles shared his vision for a more diverse Australia “to fully embed our sense that we want to build a country in which everyone belongs into everything that we do”. He said the statement builds on decisions taken under Labor Party Leader Anthony Albanese: “establishing a multicultural engagement taskforce led by Peter Khalil to get out into the community listen to issues about access to services and what matters most to people through the COVID pandemic”.

Mr Giles said the statement is addresses problems caused by the budget handed down by Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, which “clearly leaves multicultural communities behind, that builds on a number of other failures, whether it’s in respect of citizenship the full English language just sort of imposed in respect to partner visa applicants, cuts to humanitarian visas, and real issues particularly affecting CALD communities, people on temporary visas, issues in aged care and elsewhere.”

Labor’s statement highlights issues and makes commitments on behalf of the Labor party, such as improving inclusion for all Australians. “For us, this begins with better measuring diversity, to make sure that government can build policy that is informed by better data. That’s something that we have fallen behind on in Australia, and something an Anthony Albanese Government will work to rectify, to look at issues around citizenship, to protect and strengthen pathways towards it, and move away from some of the dog whistling that characterise recent engagements, and also to commit to a national strategy anti-racism strategy, Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia that we’ve seen here and around the world through the pandemic,” Mr Giles said.

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“We will also demonstrate in the statement a focus on improving settlement, particularly through supporting the amazing work of our settlement services, and to look at what more can be done in respect of the Adult Migrant English Program. These issues are identified in the statement, which also we hope will be an annual opportunity for all Australians to consider whether or not national Government is up to the challenge of delivering for all multicultural communities.”