Ministers Statement: CALD Communities Support

Ms SPENCE (Yuroke—Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Community Sport, Minister for Youth) (12:28): I am very pleased to speak to the Victorian government’s continued support for our state’s multicultural communities as we work together to defeat the current COVID-19 outbreak. We know that our CALD communities are experiencing unique challenges in the face of the pandemic, and that is why since March last year our government has provided $61.4 million in tailored supports for multicultural and multifaith Victorians.

The CALD communities task force was established in August last year to support the government’s COVID response on the ground and to meet the immediate needs of community. Since then, the task force has established more than 280 partnerships with community-led organisations to disseminate information in language and to support tens of thousands of households across Victoria through the delivery of tailored emergency relief and outreach supports. That is why just yesterday I was pleased to announce a further $12.1 million to extend the work of the CALD communities task force for another 12 months. This package includes $7.1 million for targeted communications, local partnerships and translations to ensure linguistically diverse Victorians are kept up to date about critical public health messaging, including the rollout of the vaccination program. Another $5 million will be provided through grants for the delivery of emergency relief, including culturally appropriate food packages. This package is vital but it is also the partnerships that are equally important, so I would also like to acknowledge the work of the Victorian Multicultural Commission and thank them for their dedication in supporting our CALD communities. No Victorian should be left behind as we fight this pandemic, and the Victorian government is continuing to ensure that we all make it through this together.