Following the budget speech presented by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg last night, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison virtually met with Australia’s multicultural media today to discuss the governments initiatives for Australia’s diverse communities.
The Australian Prime Minister emphasised during the virtual conference that this budget is “for multicultural Australia”. The budget, the Prime Minister says, recognises the enterprise of multicultural Australia and the impacts they have had on business development.
“Our multicultural communities and citizens are more likely to start a business, more likely to own a business, more likely to employ other Australians, and we’re seeing that across so many different communities,” Scott Morrison said.
On the “social side of this budget”, the Prime Minister revealed the governments plan to maintain social cohesion. Much of this will be done through language media, which the Prime Minister agreed is essential to “keep our country together”.
“We need to ensure that language media is available, so all Australians, regardless of their background, can understand what is occurring in their country,” Mr Morrison added.
“As patriots, they’ll be keen to understand the policies of the government, the programs that are available, and we’re investing in more to ensure that Australians of all different backgrounds can understand what is available to them and can move their own life circumstances forward.”
Adult Migrant English Program
Mr Morrison put heavy emphasis on the importance of Australia’s Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) during the virtual conference.
The AMEP is targeted at new Australian migrants and provides up to 510 hours of English language tuition to help them learn foundation English language and settlement skills.
“Being able to learn English in Australia is a vital tool for social and economic inclusion”, Mr Morrison says.
“If you’re unable to engage in the first language of that country, which in Australia is English, then you will have opportunities limited in this country. Not by the government and not by anyone else, but by language challenges.”
The Prime Minister added that he still encourages other languages to be spoken, contributing to Australia’s diverse community, yet learning English is a “necessity”.
The Prime Minister promised that borders will be opened until it is safe to do so, however doesn’t see this happening in the “foreseeable future”. Mr Morrison did, however, announce an additional 30,000 vacancies for the partner program this year, given there will be vacancies available that will normally go to other visa classes.
“That will be an important opportunity to get through, what has been for many a frustrating backlog,” Mr Morrison said.
More to come