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Migrant resource centres - review of locations



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MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND ETHNIC AFFAIRS

13/84 26 February 1984

MIGRANT RESOURCE CENTRES - REVIEW OF LOCATIONS

The Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, Mr Stewart West, today released an important national survey which identifies areas needing improved services for migrants.

The survey, undertaken by the Adelaide-based consultancy firm, Urban and Environmental Planning Group, was commissioned to examine the most suitable locations for the national network of Migrant Resource Centres' (MRCs) funded by the*

Federal Government. 8 4

There are 20 full centres and 8 sub-centres in Australia. They offer premises and facilities for ethnic group activities, provide information and referral services and undertake community education and development in their

local areas.

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"The Government is strongly committed to strengthening the Migrant Resource Centre Program", Mr West said.

Since coming to office, the Government has increased by some 43% the level of funding for Migrant Resource Centres. Mr West said that he is particularly concerned to improve services in industrial areas where there are large numbers of migrant unemployed.

Mr West said that "the review of Migrant Resource Centre locations, by highlighting areas of unmet needs, gives the Government an objective and demonstrable basis on which to develop further the MRC Program".

The consultants carefully assessed the distribution of migrant populations and the availability of special services in areas of high concentration. Much of the data has been brought together for the first time, and will be of use to many other service planners.

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Recommendations in the review report are built on clear evidence. The largest number of areas identified as having priority for services are in Sydney and Melbourne. These two cities between them contain approximately 70% of Australia's non-English speaking population.

"I will be making final decisions on the findings of the review only after extensive consultation with government authorities and community groups. I will welcome comments on the report. Copies are available at MRCs and at Regional

and Area Offices of my Department." Mr West said.

The Minister also stressed that any decisions taken on the review will be subject to the availability of funds for the extension or reshaping of the MRC Program.

Contact: Ursula Doyle (062) 72 6832