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Coalition's proud immigration and multiculturalism record

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Senator Jim Short Shadow Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs & Assisting the Leader on Multicultural Affairs


IMEA 8/96


Tlte record of the Liberal National Party Coalition in immigration and ethnic affairs is without parallel.

The Labor Party, and in particular Paul Keating» has taken every opportunity to rewrite the history of Australian immigration in a dishonest and shameless attempt to denigrate the superb record of the Coalition.

This has been part of a campaign to enhance what could only be described at best as Labor's supci-ficial and expedient interest in immigration and ethnic affairs, and at worst blatant manipulation of Australia’s multicultural communities for base political


The major initiatives in the establishment of multicultural policies came from the Fraser Coalition Government’s adoption of a wide range of new initiatives recommended in the Galbally Report on migrant settlement services in 1978, including: • comprehensive orientation programmes for new arrivals;

• English language instruction for new arrivals; • multicultural education programmes in schools; » significant boosts to child migration education programmes; • the extension of specialist welfare schemes to ethnic groups - including grant-in-aid

social workers; • the development of a systematic network of Migrant Resource Centres; • the establishment of the Australian institute of Multicultural Affairs (which was subsequently abolished by the Hawke Labor Government); • the extension of ethnic radio services, and

• the establishment of the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS).

Many of these programs continue today to underpin Australia's multicultural policies.

jn the area of immigration, it was the Coalition Government of Prime Minister Harold Holt that in 1966 that effectively abolished the obnoxious White Australia Policy (which had been progressively weakened by the preceding Menzics government) and introduced