The Multicultural Council of Tasmania (MCOT) recently published the responses to their election policy survey on multicultural issues – https://mcot.org.au/2018-election-policy-survey-responses/
The Council expressed disappointment that none of the major parties gave a firm commitment to a introducing a Multicultural Act in the coming term of government.
The Council is of the view that an Act is an important first step for any state that wants to enshrine the principals of multiculturalism into its work.
MCOT Board Member, James Chin said,
“While there are promises for further dialogue on important issues such as a Multicultural Act, the Council is disappointed by the lack of a very clear guarantee by any of the parties that this would be a priority for them.”
Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales all have Multicultural Acts that set out the state’s commitment to the principles of multiculturalism and provision for the government to establish an independent advisory body or commission.
Some Multicultural Acts also require all government departments to prepare and report annually on how they are ensuring their services reach culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
“Without all parties increasing their ambition Tasmania will remain the least multicultural of all states and miss out on all of the things that a diversity of cultures brings to the economy and community,” said Mr Chin.
For many years Tasmania has had the slowest population growth rate of any Australian state or territory.
“The significant factor contributing to our sluggish population growth is Tasmania’s poor performance in attracting and retaining overseas migrants. We have the lowest percentage of migrants and seen the smallest increase in migrants (overseas born) in the 15 years between 2001 – 2016,” said Mr. Chin.
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