The Andrews government introduced a boost in language services funding, as a means to address the needs of Victoria’s multicultural communities.
The $21.8 million measure is part of the 2017-18 State Budget and aims to increase the capacity of Victoria’s language services industry, providing more professional development and training for interpreters and translators.
“Boosting translation services is about ensuring all Victorians get equal access to essential services, as well as making it easier for new Victorians to settle and make their home here”, said Robin Scott, Victoria’s Mininster for Multicultural Affairs, in his official announcement of the measures.
According to the minister, increased funding for interpreter and translator services will enable significant improvements to be made through the Victorian Government’s procurement of language services, including improved remuneration and working conditions for contractor interpreters who undertake state government work.
This will mean that new migrants who settle to Victoria will have access to more interpreting and translator services, which will make it easier for them to pursue education and training, find a job and access healthcare, helping them settle more easily into the community.
“Every Victorian – regardless of where they were born or the language they first spoke – should be able to contribute and belong to our proud state,” Mr Scott said.
The funding is a key part of the $42.8 million investment in the state’s cultural diversity, which also includes $2 million to establish Victoria’s first fully funded Migrant Workers’ Centre to prevent workers being exploited through under-payments and poor working conditions.
The centre will provide workers with information on rights, wages, and contracts, and reduce worker exploitation.