Bill Papastergiadis meets acting Immigration Minister to discuss Budget impacts on multicultural communities

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Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne President Bill Papastergiadis met with acting Minister for Immigration Alan Tudge to participate in a briefing, informing multicultural community leaders of the impact of the 2020 Budget.

Papastergiadis raised a number of questions to the Minister, including how the government would aid families in Australia who intend to connect with family members abroad.

Tudge says the international quarantine restrictions are proving a major obstacle for people looking to come home, as well as visit distant family overseas.

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“He said 58,000 Australians had left Australia since the border was closed. He agreed that isolation has limited immigration and that state government’s played a key role in setting those boundaries,” Tudge was quoted as saying in a press release by the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne.

“The government hopes to open borders with other countries in the near future and also hopes that a vaccine will be available by mid-2021.”

The Community President additionally asked the Minister about his proposal for skilled migrants and “whether our communities could work with the Government to develop better ties with some countries, including Greece.”

Papastergiadis mentioned the lobby of the Greek Community of Melbourne to organise a skills exhibition in Thessaloniki a few years ago.

Tudge says social cohesion among multicultural communities remains important for the Federal Government program.

“Foreign intervention was a particular problem and was at levels we had never seen since World War II,” Tudge adds.

“The federal government will try to ensure that communities are not divided as a result of foreign factors. It invests in services to compensate for this.”

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