Leader of the Australian Greens Dr Richard Di Natale today released draft laws aimed at protecting multiculturalism in Australia. Speaking at the Migration Institute of Australia’s national conference, Di Natale released a draft copy of the Australian Multicultural Bill 2017, which enacts one of the key recommendations of the report of the Senate Select Committee on Strengthening Multiculturalism established by the Greens earlier this year.
“Australia’s cultural diversity is a vital part of our nation's identity and it is time that our national laws recognise this,” Di Natale said.
“Multiculturalism is too important to play politics with. Enshrining the value of multiculturalism in our laws will mean it can no longer be used as a political football by those seeking to drive division and exploit our differences for their own political purposes.
“Most Australian states have legislation or other instruments that assert the values of multiculturalism, which remain consistent regardless of which government is in power. It’s time for our national politics to catch up.
“The Greens don’t just pay lip service to valuing Australia’s diversity, we actually believe it. We call on the Labor Party and the Government to get behind the Greens’ plan to protect multiculturalism in law.”
The Greens have released a draft exposure of the Australian Multicultural Bill 2017 and begun consultation on the draft with Australian CALD communities. The Greens will introduce the final bill into Parliament before the end of this term.
The legislation will:
- enshrine the value of multiculturalism in Australia in law
- require all Commonwealth entities to:
- annually report on the use of translators and interpreters and the diversity of their Boards; and
- collect statistical data to help improve services for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities
- establish the Australian Multicultural Commission as an independent body with the responsibility to promote cultural diversity and advocate directly to government on multicultural issues
Community groups and peak bodies are encouraged to provide their feedback online at www.greens.org.au/multicultural-act.
Matt Siegel 0457 901 600
Adam Pulford 0427 819 461