By Neeraj Nanda
Melbourne, 5 May: The Andrews Labor government has allotted $ 11 million over four years to maintain or build community infrastructure and to enhance cultural precincts including establishing Victoria’s first Indian precinct.
Premier Daniel Andrews had made an election pledge at the last Diwali event at the Federation Square to build an Indian precinct and allotment of funds for the same in the budget is being seen as a first step towards it.
The already existing Little India precinct in Dandenong faced difficulties including the collapse of business as a consequence of Places Victoria’s redevelopment plans. Premier Daniel Andrews who was then the leader of opposition had visited Little India and taken stock of the position.
The Labor MP Jude Pereira also raised the issue in the Victorian Parliament. Later Little India traders held a rally outside Parliament demanding from the then Liberal government to save the livelihood of traders in Little India. The issue stirred the Indian and South Asian community to save the Little India precinct.
Victorian Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Robin Scott says, “Diversity is our asset, and we’re working with multicultural communities to make our society and our economy stronger.”
“The Andrews Labor Government is investing $74 million to bolster multicultural affairs and social cohesion as well as ensuring Victorians of all backgrounds feel at home.”
The 2015-16 Victorian Budget will provide $21 million over four years to promote social cohesion and community harmony. The dedicated organisations that sustain our diversity and cohesion must be commended and supported.
The 2015-2016 Budget includes funding for the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria, a Vietnamese Dual Identity Leadership Program and the Australian Greek Welfare Society to assist migrant families across our state.
$13.2 million is provided to enhance community capacity and participation for people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, with specific initiatives to support newly arrived migrants and refugees as well as seniors, women and young people.
The Budget also includes $2 million for the Multicultural Access Program which assists people from a culturally diverse background to access services like Home and Community Care.
“Addressing family violence has been a key priority for the Andrews Labor Government. A commitment of $2 million over two years has been made to support women and children from culturally and linguistically diverse communities who are victims or vulnerable to family violence, says a media release from Robin Scott’s office.
The Budget will provide an additional $25 million to reinforce Victoria’s social cohesion and community resilience and to prevent radicalisation and extremism. This is an important step in keeping Victorian families safe and, in particular, supporting vulnerable members in our community from getting in harm’s way.
- SAT News Service.