Tim Pallas Budget 2023-BT

Funding for Hindi and Punjabi schools – promised during election 2022, delivered

The Victorian multicultural communities are, perhaps the biggest winners in this year’s budget 2023-24 handed down by the state treasurer Tim Pallas just hours ago. There is no doubt the diverse Victorian communities are not simply important but are the backbone of the Victorian society and its economy, be it in terms of workforce or entrepreneurship.

And what other way to recognize and celebrate than offering meaningful funding to allow them to continue and enhance their activities in Victoria.

In announcing the funding to celebrate our diversity, in the budget 2023-24 papers, treasurer Tim Pallas says:

“In Victoria, we’re not just proud of our diversity – we know it’s one of our strengths. Communities from all around the globe call our state home, and that’s something we’re extremely proud of.

“Because the people who come from abroad to make Victoria their home always bring new perspectives and enhance the way we grow as a community.

That’s why our Government has always backed multicultural communities, and why we always will.”

There is a huge increase in the funding for multicultural communities’ infrastructure: $40 million (2023-24), $6.4 million (2022-23) and $4.4 million (2021-22).

The other big winner item is funding for multicultural community festivals. The funding for it has gone up from $1.1 million (2022-23) & 2021-22 to $12 million.

Also read: Victoria’s New 3 Billion Support package for Businesses

And as was promised by the Labor party led by Premier Daniel Andrews during the election campaign last November, money has been allocated for three new beacon schools to offer Hindi and Punjabi languages as part of the funding allocated for the state’s Community Language Schools programs.

Here is a snapshot of Multicultural spends from the last three budgets handed down by the Andrews Labor government in Victoria.

Victoria’s investment in multicultural communities – budget 2023-24

$40 million to continue the Multicultural Infrastructure Fund to upgrade, renovate and build multicultural and multifaith community facilities

$17 million to upgrade and revitalise business and cultural hubs in Victoria’s multicultural precincts, provide grants to multicultural trader associations and for scholarships to help train staff to fill jobs in these precincts

$12 million to help our multicultural and multifaith communities celebrate the festivals and events that offer important connections

$9.8 million for multicultural support programs including the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria, to help the voices of our multicultural and multifaith communities be heard

$6 million to fund anti‑vilification campaigns to counter discrimination and prejudice

$6 million to strengthen and extend language provision in Community Language Schools and select government schools, including by establishing three new beacon schools offering Hindi and Punjabi language subjects.

Victoria’s investment in multicultural communities – budget 2022-23

$6.7 million including legal support for asylum seekers and temporary visa holders so they can get the assistance they need as they manage their settlement in Victoria

$6.4 million to continue the Multicultural Community Infrastructure Fund so that we can build and upgrade community facilities and places of worship, through projects such as new car parks, kitchens, and meeting spaces

$4.4 million to support young members of Victoria’s African communities with the delivery of targeted education support programs like homework clubs and community liaison officers who are embedded in schools to support families with their child’s learning

$3.7 million to support multicultural communities with tailored and translated messaging and programs to support COVIDSafe behaviours, such as vaccine uptake and testing

$1.1 million to give our multicultural community festivals the chance to celebrate the holidays and events that they hold dear, with those they hold close.

Victoria’s investment in multicultural communities – budget 2021-22

$4.4 million to support multicultural communities recovering from the pandemic, including upgrading local facilities. This investment will also provide support for the development of a bicultural worker strategy.

$4.3 million includes support for community organisations to deliver targeted programs to support migrant and refugee women into employment.

A further $1.4 million will go towards dedicated programs to address racism, vilification and hate-based conduct.

$1 million will go towards Melbourne Pride 2021, a major event to celebrate and support LGBTIQ+ Victorians.

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