The Australian Labor Party (ALP) has launched its Multicultural Engagement Taskforce report which produced recommendations in three key areas, including improving access to COVID-19 and emergency services, federal government services and business support for culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD).
Opposition leader Anthony Albanese and Labor MP Peter Khalil, who is also the chair of the taskforce, were among those who launched the report in Melbourne.
The ALP outlined the purpose of the taskforce was to engage with multicultural communities to inform its policies.
The initiative was launched in late 2019 and involved roundtable consultations with various CALD interest groups, including local councillors, community leaders and business networks.
The report has called attention to perceived failures of the Morrison Government and also provided recommendations to remedy them.
One of the issues Labor identified was COVID-19 health messages being translated with the use of Google Translate, the report described this as “not only lazy, but dangerous”.
“People were trying to do the right thing but they need appropriate information and they need it explained in a culturally sensitive way,” Albanese said at the report launch.
Furthermore, the report cited that many CALD communities did not qualify for JobKeeper or JobSeeker, making them rely on charities and independent initiatives rather than federal government support.
The taskforce report put forward that there be accurate translations on when and where to be vaccinated and that the vaccination rollout program should include outreach to CALD communities through the use of community radio, as this mode of information dissemination proved successful for the Victorian, Western Australian and Queensland governments.
Labor identified that among the problems CALD communities faced with COVID-19, there are also barriers for small businesses applying for the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme, a considerable issue as 33 percent of small businesses are owned by migrants.
“Multiculturalism is about more than just food, festivals, and dancing. It goes to the core of our identity as a nation; who we are as a people,” Khalil said.
The whole report can be accessed on the ALP website here.
Read the report in Filipino online here.
Labor’s Multicultural Engagement Taskforce is seeking suggestions from the Filipino community to help shape Labor’s policies. Suggestions can be sent via email to email@example.com