02 June 2008

Australian migrants promised $34 million next financial year

The Australian Government announced today that it would be investing $34 million next year into a program designed to help migrants integrate easily into Australian society.

The Settlement Grants Program (SGP) has a total of 230 projects running Australia-wide and has the support of 168 organisations. The Parliamentary Secretary for Mulitcultural Affairs and Settlement Services, Laurie Ferguson, has said that the Government will fund the projects for those in need of assistance with settlement into the Australian community.

He said, "These projects will assist migrants and refugees in their cultural transition to Australia and build on their existing skills for their successful settlement."  The purpose of the SGP, as outlined by the Government, is to help migrants and refugees maximise their involvement and productivity within the Australian economy, and to provide enough information and resources about the Australian life so that the stress of resettlement can be minimised.

Mr Ferguson also commented that the projects will help migrants and refugees to rent private property, as renting housing accomodation has been problematic for many moving to Australia who do not have any previous rental records or personal referees.

For those using an Australian Skilled Visa, the SGP will provide services for their dependants, particularly those with English as a second language. The Government is focused on providing support and knowledge for the families of those who migrate to Austraila, as evidence of their committment to their opening immigration policy and efforts for social cohesion. 

The SGP has already shown positive results with settling refugees and migrants, and an extra $21million promised for upcoming projects is further evidence of the Government's committment to immigration.

Australia needs skilled workers: Anyone applying for an Australian visa should begin by completing the Australian Visa Bureau's online Australian visa application to see if they meet the Australian visa requirements.

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