The left and right of multiculturalism in NSW

September 6, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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NSW Minister for Multiculturalism, Ray Williams, will continue to use his position to stand up for all multicultural communities in NSW.

Ray Williams

In a statement Mr Williams said he will continue to promote social cohesion and community harmony in NSW.

“While Labor works to divide communities with divisive ‘White Flight’ comments andrefuse community leaders entry into multicultural events, the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government has been successfully supporting diverse communities,” Mr Williams said.

“We’ve strengthened the Crimes Act 1900 to protect our diverse communities. The new laws send a very clear message to offenders that we will not tolerate behaviour which risks people’s safety.

“The Liberals & Nationals Government strong financial management has also seen more than $10 million committed to Community Language Schools. This will ensure language, heritage and culture continue to be shared with younger generations.

“More than 20,000 young people have benefited from Community in Partnership Taking Action (COMPACT) program, which aims to safeguard our peaceful and harmonious way of life against extremist hate, violence and division.

“Last financial year we supported more than 160 unique multicultural festivals, projects and events across NSW.

“I’m proud of our growing successful track record in supporting diversity in NSW. The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will always stand up for our communities.”

Multicultural NSW also delivers a successful Language Services program, coordinates the refugee resettlement program, as well as organise Regional Advisory Council meetings and Religious Leaders forums.

In the coming year, more than 40,000 assignments in more than 100 languages willbe delivered through the NSW Government’s world class interpreting and translation services.

Jihad Dib

But acting shadow Minister for Multiculturalism Jihad Dib stated that under intense scrutiny in Budget Estimates this morning, Minister for Multiculturalism Ray Williams conceded he has not used his position to stand up for communities marginalised by hate speech.

He stated: “In addition to failing to respond to racially and faith based hatred calls that seek to divide the community, the Minister could not recall whether he has condemned the inaugural speech of Federal MP Fraser Anning.

Whilst having used the phrase “The standard you walk last, is the standard you accept”, the Minister had in effect walked straight past a racially charged standard that pits one group of individuals against another in modern multicultural Australia.

Under further questioning, Minister Williams articulated his role to be one to promote harmony in the community and yet, his only actions seem to have been attending  events with a multicultural flavour.

The Minister could not direct the committee to any reports he has commissioned through his agency Multicultural NSW that relate specifically to supporting communities from non-English speaking background or reports that identify and provide recommendations that support social inclusion. Indeed the Minister seemed confused about his role in leading policy debate or advocating for diverse communities.”

 

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