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Questions to Be Answered on Multicultural Grants

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Tags: Multicultural Affairs

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens' Leader

In Harmony Week, the Liberals need to explain why a very modest Multicultural Grants funding round has allocated $5000 towards a Christian celebration of Easter in Launceston that does not appear to meet the program guidelines.

The Launceston Evangelical Easter Festival program demonstrates it is not an event designed to promote diversity and inclusion of the wider community, with the only multicultural feature of the program being a dinner on the Saturday night where the keynote speaker is clearly not a representative of any migrant or new arrivals’ community in Tasmania.

Parliamentary Secretary, Sarah Courtney, needs to explain how the evangelical festival in her electorate of Bass fits within the grant funding guidelines and how it will promote diversity and inclusion in the wider community.

The guidelines state that grants of up to $5000 are available for ‘projects that showcase the vibrancy of multiculturalism through festivals and/or events that encourage the participation of the whole community.’

While there are a number of worthwhile recipients of the grants, few of the grant recipients are community groups who represent former migrants or humanitarian entrants.

This $100 000 in public funding is so precious to multicultural communities.  It is the only grant funding round specific to multicultural communities and it should be allocated entirely to Tasmanian organizations whose focus is on the promotion of diversity and inclusion.

It will be very difficult for Tasmanian multicultural communities who were unsuccessful in their applications to understand why $5000 out of such a small pool of funding has been allocated to the Launceston Christian Evangelical Easter Festival, and how it fulfils the objectives of the Multicultural Grants program.

Ms Courtney has some explaining to do to Tasmanians of migrant background who have missed out on funding while the evangelical Easter festival managed to secure the Liberal government’s support.