Ministers Statement: COVID-19

Ms SPENCE (Yuroke—Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Community Sport, Minister for Youth) (15:02): It is with great pleasure that I rise today to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of young Victorians and our multicultural communities who have shot out of the starting block in the sprint to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The Andrews Labor government continues to demonstrate its commitment to supporting everyone in our race towards 80 per cent full vaccination. We know that multicultural Victorians rely on organisations that they know and people they trust for information. That is why we have invested $52.4 million in the CALD communities task force, which is partnering with multicultural leaders, organisations and media outlets to respond to the pandemic and the rollout of the vaccine. On Sunday I announced a further $7.2 million for the task force, much of which will be directed towards empowering CALD communities and bringing the vaccine to them.

We have seen great success in uptake to date with these pop-up sites, and these will increase going forward. Appointments are already fully booked for the Australian Islamic Centre’s pop-up hub, which was launched yesterday in the member for Williamstown’s electorate, and a vaccination clinic at Craigieburn’s gurdwara will open its doors this weekend. The frontrunners of this vaccine race have of course been young people. Bookings have surged since young people have become eligible, and it has been terrific to see footage and images of so many young people heading out at their earliest opportunity to get vaccinated as well as influencing other people to do the same. I say a heartfelt thanks to all of these Victorians, to our young and to our multicultural Victorians, for turning out to get the jab and for everything that they are doing to keep their communities safe. Keep it up till we reach and till we push past 80 per cent full vaccination.