21 February 2014

Shadow Minister for Citizenship and Multiculturalism, Michelle Rowland and Member for Watson, Tony Burke have today met with multicultural organisations who have had their funding cruelly ripped away by the Abbott Government.

Organisations impacted include the United Muslim Women’s Association which has seen their fully budgeted funding of $150,000 ripped away and the Metro Migrant Resource Centre which has lost $99,215.

Ms Rowland said the Abbott Government’s decision to cut $11.5 million from Building Multicultural Communities Program was a disgrace and would have an adverse impact on the community.

“Tony Abbott and Kevin Andrews have cruelly cut grants to organisations that work to maintain cohesive and socially inclusive neighborhood’s in the very diverse western Sydney region and regions right around the country,” Ms Rowland said.

“The best way that governments can help build inclusive, harmonious communities is from the bottom up, by supporting grassroots programs like this.”

Mr Burke said he was disappointed that so many organisations have had their approved funding snatched away by the Abbott Government.

“Organisations like the United Muslim Women’s Association and the Metro Migrant Resource Centre are the backbone of our local area. They help people every day,” Mr Burke said.

“These cuts meant that the Melkite Welfare Association in Greenacre can no longer install a disability ramp on their premises. Not once during the election campaign did the Liberals tell anyone about these cuts.

“The Abbott Government could not be more out of touch with our local area than this,” Mr Burke said.

“We call on Mr Abbott to release the funds that have been approved to organisations around Australia and let them continue doing the great work they do in the community,” Ms Rowland said.