NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson raised serious concerns about the future of multicultural harmony in NSW – following reports of a restructure and watering down of the role of the Community Relations Commission.
“It is very disturbing to hear reports today that the Liberal Government is planning to completely change the functions of the Community Relations Commission,” Robertson said.
“The Community Relations Commission is a key player in promoting diversity, inclusion and harmony in our multicultural state – through both community events, and independent reporting such as after the Cronulla riots.
“The last thing we need during these troubling times – with disharmony abroad and heightened security at home – is for the Commission to have its functions watered down.
“I am particularly concerned about reports the Commission will lose its role in supporting asylum seekers and refugees resettling in NSW.
“The objective of the Community Relations Commission is not to balance the budget – its goal is completely separate and absolutely critical to promoting harmony and tolerance through our state.
“What we need is a Commission to deliver expert advice around what governments can do to promote cultural and religious cohesion – not a body focused on raising revenue.
“By radically restructuring the Community Relations Commission the Liberals are sending an appalling message to the community – that they are not serious about continuing the success of multiculturalism in NSW.
“Effectively scrapping the Community Relations Commission in its present form could wind back years of progress.
“I am concerned the Government is making these changes and hoping nobody will notice – but the community must be consulted about any attempts to radically change the Commission.”
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