The Victorian Government has committed $21.4 million in the 2012-13 State Budget to the continued improvement of services which meet the needs and aspirations of culturally diverse Victorians.
Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship Nicholas Kotsiras said the Budget allocation built on and promoted Victoria's vibrant multicultural society.
"Multiculturalism is one of Victoria's defining features, and it is a significant social, cultural and economic asset," Mr Kotsiras said.
"Global and national economic factors have resulted in a softer economy and significant reductions in government revenue. We cannot ignore these realities, but nor can we afford to simply accept them.
"This Budget sets out a clear plan to meet our challenges and position Victoria to take full advantage of current and future opportunities.
"The Budget validates the Government's commitment to linking Victoria's cultural and linguistic diversity into the State's future economic and social success."
Mr Kotsiras said the Budget ensured all Victorians benefitted from Victoria's cultural diversity, while the Government supported and promoted multicultural communities.
"The Victorian Government is solid in its commitment to cultural, linguistic and religious diversity," Mr Kotsiras said.
The Victorian Government, through the 2012-13 State Budget, will:
- fund refugee support programs through the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship; and
- provide an additional $400,000 over four years to the Victorian Multicultural Commission to assist eight Regional Advisory Councils.
"This is a responsible Budget that takes the necessary approach to deliver investment in our future," Mr Kotsiras said.
Mr Kotsiras said the Budget provided organisational support and community infrastructure, as well as projects that foster community harmony and social cohesion.
"The Victorian Government supports projects that underscore a greater understanding of rights and responsibilities, while facilitating active citizenship, as well as those projects that celebrate cultural diversity" Mr Kotsiras said.
"We have a whole-of-government commitment to multicultural affairs and all Government departments are expected to ensure that their programs are accessible to all Victorians."