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Friday, 5 December 1986
Page: 3461

To the President and Honourable members of the Senate of the Australian Parliament assembled. The petition of the undersigned residents of Australia respectfully showeth:

That we wish to protest at the cutbacks announced in the Federal Budget of August 1986. Large numbers of people live in poverty and many more are now moving in that direction. Gains in education, multi-culturalism, welfare and in many other areas that have been important to the Australian people are being eroded and in some cases totally destroyed. Members of the ethnic community have been hit twice as hard by the August budget. They experience the hardship of general economic policies as well as the severe cutbacks that effect services essential to developing equal opportunity and the promotion of multi-culturalism.

We therefore call upon the Federal Government to reconsider the economic direction which it is pursuing and develop economic policies that cater for the needs of all Australians. Specifically such policies must include the following which are vital to the ethnic and general Australian community at large:

The Federal Government to undertake full responsibility to maintain and expand the ESL programme;

Retain the Human Rights Commission;

Retain the Australian Institute Of Multicultural Affairs;

Reinstate funding to the education centres programme;

Maintain the autonomy of SBS Television and Ethnic Radio;

Maintain the branches of the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs in Albury, Wollongong, Newcastle in NSW, as well as the other branches in Victoria and Queensland;

To not introduce Tertiary Education fees;

To maintain the Bill of Rights legislation.

And your petitioners as in duty bound shall ever humbly pray.