Monday, 26 October 2020
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs. Will the minister outline how the Morrison government is supporting all Australian communities, including multicultural communities, during the COVID-19 pandemic? And will the minister outline how our multicultural communities are contributing to a safe and united Australia, including in my electorate of Chisholm?
I thank the member for Chisholm for her question. The member for Chisholm is a tremendous Australian, such a great advocate for her community, including the great multicultural community in her electorate of Chisholm in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. The government is supporting Australians, including multicultural Australians, in unprecedented ways during this pandemic. $257 billion of economic support has been provided during this pandemic and, just recently in the budget, we provided further support and further tax relief for all Australians. Eleven million people who are earning money will get tax relief. The JobMaker hiring credit will support half a million Aussies into work. There's the ongoing operation of JobKeeper and JobSeeker. There are the incentives for businesses to invest and employ. We know so many in the multicultural community have initiated businesses in this country and do such a good job.
We have also supported Australians, including multicultural Australians, through the tremendous health measures that we have put in place—in particular, the additional support for mental health, which has been so important during these very difficult times, particularly in my home state of Victoria. For newer Australians, particular measures have been put in place—better access to English language programs, for example, extra community support and an increase in the number of partner visas—in this budget too.
Last Friday, the Prime Minister, Assistant Minister Wood and I met up with over 200 multicultural community leaders. We went through some of these measures they were interested in, particularly some of the economic measures. But we also used the opportunity to really say thank you to those multicultural communities for the leadership which individuals in those communities have shown. The Prime Minister, for example, as he's frequently wont to do, thanked particularly the Chinese community for their tremendous efforts and for really showing the way earlier on in the pandemic when they were coming back from their holidays in China.
But equally we thank the communities for the way that they have supported their fellow Australians in unbelievable ways. So many different organisations have gone out of their way to raise funds for their fellow Australians, to cook meals for their fellow Australians. I note a couple in the member for Chisholm's own electorate—the Asian Business Association of Whitehorse, for example, which raised $40,000 from local businesses and groups to go towards medical equipment at the great Box Hill Hospital, and the Chinese Culture School Australia. Right across this great country, those multicultural communities— (Time expired)