Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship Nicholas Kotsiras today called on the Commonwealth Government to provide a clearer and more focused National Settlement Framework.
Speaking at the Select Council on Immigration and Settlement in Canberra today Mr Kotsiras said Victoria welcomes the National Settlement Framework but there is a need to strengthen key elements. Victoria also welcomes Minister Bowen's commitment to further dialogue in this matter.
"This dialogue is needed in order to have a clearer explanation of roles, responsibilities and commitments of the three tiers of government and non-government organisations as well as the need to link service provision entitlement to outcomes rather than service quotas or arbitrary time frames" Mr Kotsiras said.
The National Settlement Framework seeks to facilitate:
- collaboration between jurisdictions during settlement planning for humanitarian entrants and family re-union;
- co-ordination in the provision of services to minimise duplication and identify service gaps; and
- enhanced evaluation of services and sharing of best practice.
"Many refugees have had disrupted lives before arriving in a new country. They have often experienced serious hardship," Mr Kotsiras said.
"Many have spent extended periods in refugee camps while others fleeing from persecution, experienced the break-up of families and some have had little or very disrupted education."
Mr Kotsiras said that the difficulties faced by refugees can continue after arriving in Australia such as, the need to find a job, support families, navigate new social and cultural systems, as well as facing prejudice and racism.
"These are big challenges but with the right combination of support for refugees these issues can be overcome," Mr Kotsiras said.