Ministers Statement: COVID-19 Vaccinations

Ms SPENCE (Yuroke—Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Community Sport, Minister for Youth) (14:56): I rise today to update the house on the Andrews Labor government’s support for multicultural Victorians as we race towards 80 per cent vaccination and beyond. On Thursday last week I announced $2 million for the new multicultural communications outreach program, which will address barriers to accessing the vaccination program and drive numbers up through communication initiatives designed by multicultural Victorians for multicultural Victorians. Half of this funding will deliver grants of up to $100 000 to support multicultural media outlets, community organisations and individuals to create and distribute in-language material and debunk myths and encourage Victorians to get the jab, and the remaining $1 million is going directly to 21 organisations to support their communication efforts. This includes funding for the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation, the Islamic Council of Victoria, Youth Activating Youth and radio station 3ZZZ.

We need to empower multicultural Victorians with true information and bring the vaccine to them, which is why the Andrews Labor government has funded 130 bicultural workers in priority areas and established pop-up sites within cultural centres across the state which are equipped with resources and healthcare professionals that speak the community’s language. The Hallam mosque in the Narre Warren North electorate will open its doors for vaccinations on Thursday, while over 5000 first doses have been administered across the Swaminarayan temple in the Mill Park electorate, the Greek Orthodox church in the Northcote electorate and the Australian Islamic Centre in the Williamstown electorate. Since the beginning of the pandemic this government has committed a massive $68.6 million to our CALD communities, demonstrating our unwavering commitment to bringing every single Victorian with us on our journey towards 80 per cent vaccination and beyond.