“Tony Abbott has cruelly cut $ 33 million in funding to organisations in our community who work to build cohesive and inclusive Australia,” said Michelle Rowland, MP and Shadow Minister for Citizenship and Multiculturalism.
The Abbott Government’s lack of regard for volunteer groups, cultural organisations and charities is disgraceful and has led to great uncertainty in the sector.
She said, “Abbott Government must explain their restructure of grants to multicultural communities. The uncertainty is causing huge anxiety in the community for those who rely on the Settlement Grants Program and Humanitarian Settlement Services program”.
“The best way that governments can help build harmonious communities is at the grass roots, by supporting locally proven programs which enable all citizens to fully participate and contribute to the economy”
“These cuts call into question the Abbott Government’s commitment to multiculturalism in Australia. It is one thing to say that you support multiculturalism, but action speaks louder than words”
She further said, “Tony Abbott directly appealed to many different cultural and ethnic communities for their votes in the 2013 election campaign. These cuts are a betrayal of their trust”.
Social isolation is one of the most debilitating struggles faced by the new Australians. Programmes that facilitate access to social support help build the confidence they need.
Tony Abbott’s cuts in the Budget are symptomatic of a government that knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing.
In the long run we will all pay for the short sightedness.
The $ 33 million cut in funding from the Strengthening Communities line items is likely to impact on many programs that may include:
Diversity and Social Cohesion Program
Multicultural Arts and Festivals Grants
Empowering Local Communities Program
Community Hubs Program
Building Multicultural Communities Program
Complex Case Support
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