Mark Coure slams Steve Kamper MP for neglecting multicultural media in NSW

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The NSW Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism, Mark Coure MP, has called out the Minister for Multiculturalism, Steve Kamper MP, for failing to answer when questioned during Budget Estimates on Tuesday about the government’s pre-election commitment to offer greater support to independent multicultural media.

In March 2023, Minister Kamper announced that NSW Labor would review the state government’s advertising practices to ensure the role of the independent multicultural media is elevated and supported.

During the Budget Estimates hearing in NSW Parliament on Tuesday, 20 February 2024, the Deputy Opposition Whip in the Legislative Council, Wes Fang MLC, questioned Minister Kamper about what stage the proposed review was at.

The Minister replied that the review into multicultural media had been conducted by the Department of Customer Service (DCS), which falls under the control of Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government, Jihad Dib MP.

When pushed on what the outcome of the review was, Minister Kamper was unable to answer and appeared flustered as he palmed the question off to the CEO of Multicultural NSW, Joseph La Posta.

Mr Coure has today called out Mr Kamper for his actions, slamming the Minister for his lack of support and advocacy for independent multicultural media outlets.

“Minister Kamper’s bumbling performance in Budget Estimates yesterday is reminiscent of his attitude towards supporting our vital independent multicultural media outlets,” Mr Coure said in a media release.

“Minister Kamper has broken his promise to independent multicultural media outlets, and worst of all he didn’t even seem to realise it when questioned yesterday on what actually he is doing as their advocate in government.”

nsw minister for multiculturalism steve kamper mp
NSW Minister for Multiculturalism Steve Kamper MP at Budget Estimates on Tuesday, February 20. Photo: Dominic Lorrimer / The Sydney Morning Herald.

‘Total disregard is shameful’:

In Budget Estimates on Tuesday, Mr La Posta did confirm that Multicultural NSW had been working closely with the DCS “to make sure the voices of our multicultural media agencies is heard and understood.” He thanked independent multicultural media for working with the agency and the NSW Government, and said the review was now complete. A decision is set to be announced by Minister Dib.

Members of Independent Multicultural Media Australia (IMMA), including The Greek Herald, have met with representatives from the DCS over the past 18 months, with no significant progress made. Instead, the NSW government continues to neglect multicultural media and refuses to acknowledge multicultural media outlets as suitable platforms for government messaging.

The Greek Herald spoke to media representatives that participated in the review and found it focused primarily on workflow and the message to DCS of their concerns had become diluted and the narrative lost. This has now left members unsettled that a final decision has been reached by Minister Dib, considering IMMA members did not engage in direct consultations with him.

Mr Coure said Minister Kamper’s “flustered and un-informed responses” on Tuesday revealed “he does not know the outcome of the review he asked to be commissioned.”

“Independent multicultural media outlets provide a crucial link between our state’s diverse communities and government, they are an essential part communicating important messages to those communities in their own language,” Mr Coure said.

“The Minns Labor Government’s total disregard for independent multicultural media is shameful.”

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