16 February 2011

Government presents new multicultural Australia immigration policy

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A new advisory body will champion multiculturalism and advise government departments to ensure Australia’s unique community model endures.

Australia immigration

Permanent Australia immigration and citizenship is key to Australia's multicultural model, Mr Bowen said.

Australia Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said a Multicultural Advisory Council will be set up to provide independent advice with broader terms of reference than the current advisory council.

"The new body will act as a champion for multiculturalism in the community, will advise the government on multicultural affairs and will help ensure Australian government services respond to the needs of migrant and refugee communities," Mr Bowen said in a speech at the Sydney Institute.

A National Anti-Racism Partnership and Strategy will also be established.

"While much good work has been done in Australia over many decades, we must continue to work to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination," Mr Bowen said.

Respect for Australian values, citizenship-centred multiculturalism and bipartisan support had resulted in "the genius of Australian multiculturalism," he said.

Mr Bowen said Australian multiculturalism had as its premise the idea of permanent migration and full citizenship.

"We are not a guest-worker society," he said.

"Rather, people who share respect for our democratic beliefs, laws and rights are welcome to join us as full partners with equal rights."

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