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Tuesday, 3 June 2003
Page: 15909


Mr Laurie Ferguson asked the Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, upon notice, on 14 March 2002:

(1) How many Migrant Resource Centres (MRCs) or MRC outposts are currently funded by the Government.

(2) How many of these centres were first approved for funding after March 1996.

(3) In respect of the new centres funded referred to in part (2), in which (a) location and (b) federal electoral division is each centre located.

(4) Have any centres had their funding withdrawn since March 1996; if so, in which (a) location and (b) electoral division did each centre previously operate.

(5) What specific criteria are used in assessing the need for MRCs to be established, or to remain, in particular locations.


Mr Hardgrave (Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs) —The amended answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) The Government currently funds 30 Migrant Resource Centres and 4 Migrant Service Agencies. Four of the Migrant Resource Centres operate outposts, covering five locations.

(2) Eight centres and three outposts were first approved for funding after March 1996.

(3) The Department does not collect data by electorate. Using information provided on the Australian Electoral Commission's web site, a table providing the location and relevant electorate for the centres referred to in part (2) has however, been prepared and is below. The electorate has been identified on the basis of the organisation's postcode. The service provision catchment area may extend across electoral boundaries.

State

MRC Location

Electorate

Date Established

NSW

Inner West Migrant Resource Centre (Ashfield)

Grayndler

1996

Auburn Migrant Resource Centre (Auburn)

Reid

1996

Migrant Network Services (Hornsby)

Berowra

1999

Baulkham Hills/Holroyd/Parramatta MRC (Parramatta)

Parramatta

1996

VIC

Migrant Information Centre (Mitcham)

Deakin

1998

QLD

Multicultural Development Agency (Stones Corner)

Griffith

1998

Migrant Settlement Services (Cairns)

Leichhardt

1999

Logan & Beenleigh (Woodridge)

Rankin

1996

SA

Migrant Resource Centre of South Australia - Salisbury outpost

Bonython

1997

TAS

Migrant Resource Centre of Northern Tasmania - Devonport and Burnie outposts

Braddon

1996

(4) The Department has ceased funding two MRCs since March 1996. In both cases appropriate alternative services were established and service delivery in the area was not diminished. A table providing (a) location and (b) electoral division for each centre is provided in the table below.

State

MRC Location

Electorate

Funding withdrawn

QLD

Brisbane

Brisbane

1998

Cairns

Leichhardt

1998

(5) The establishment of a new MRC/MSA or the relocation of an existing MRC/MSA would be considered on a case by case basis. Factors that would be taken into consideration include: an identified need for settlement services not currently available in the relevant area; significant changes in the locations where new arrivals are settling; a shift in settlement patterns by existing migrant communities. Data from the ABS Census, community feedback and information from the Department's Settlement Database are also relevant sources of information in this process.

In the course of assessing the annual budget bids by MRCs/MSAs, the Department considers a number of criteria, including:

changing demographics in relation to catchment areas of each MRC/MSA; and

identified settlement needs.