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Tuesday, 23 August 1983
Page: 93

Question No. 157

Dr Charlesworth asked the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, upon notice, on 17 May 1983:

(1) What is the role of Migrant Resource Centres.

(2) What level of funding is allocated to the Migrant Resource Centre in North Perth, Western Australia, and are any changes being considered to this level of funding.

(3) Will these centres be expanded in the area of providing facilities for the teaching of languages.

Mr West —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) The role of Migrant Resource Centres involves three complementary areas of activity. They provide a base for social, educational and cultural activities of ethnic groups; they are a service point for multilingual information giving, referral and counselling; and they assist the local community to better respond to the needs of migrants.

(2) The original allocation for 1982-83 funds for the North Perth Migrant Resource Centre was $59,750. As part of the recent additional funding of $255, 000 for the MRC program the North Perth MRC was granted a further $8,000. Finally, a supplementary grant of $2,000 was made bringing its 1982-83 total to $69,750.

The additional funding represents swift action by the Government to ensure that Migrant Resource Centres are adequately resourced. It effectively restores real funding levels which had been progressively eroded since the program was introduced in 1978.

Current year funding levels will be determined in the context of the 1983-84 Budget.

(3) In common with nearly all MRCs, North Perth MRC holds weekly community language classes, in addition to English classes. The programming of activities for MRCs is at the initiative of the individual centre but obviously 'Saturday Schools' and other classes for teaching community languages for both children and adults would be warmly supported. The recent infusion of extra funds for the MRC program should assist interested MRCs to purchase equipment to enhance the teaching of languages.