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Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Page: 6399

Mr HAYES (10:00 AM) —Today I rise to indicate that last week I attended, on behalf of the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, the annual general meeting of the Liverpool Migrant Resource Centre. The Australian government is committed to providing resources to ensure that all new migrants who arrive under humanitarian and family migration programs have access to the information and tools necessary to assist them in settling in this country. The Liverpool Migrant Resource Centre is one of the main settlement service providers in Sydney. It provides assistance to newly arrived migrants and, as such, it plays a vital role in implementing the objectives of settlement services. The Liverpool Migrant Resource Centre currently receives additional funding for three projects under the Settlement Grants Program funding round. It also has six projects continuing from previous years. The funding for these six grants is about $1.5 million. Several of these projects focus predominantly on humanitarian entrants, particularly those from Iraq, and provide assistance to develop these community groups and help members integrate into the wider community. Under the current settlement grants program funding round, Liverpool Migrant Resource Centre has been funded for three projects, for more than $1 million. Again, these projects focus on integration services to eligible humanitarian and family stream clients.

According to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s settlement database, the Liverpool LGA currently receives a high number of new immigrants. The settlement database shows arrival numbers as 3,375 family stream migrants and 2,376 humanitarian entrants settled in Liverpool in the last five years up to May 2009. Most humanitarian entrants settling in the region have come from Iraq, Sudan, the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, the Arab Republic of Egypt, Jordan, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka and Syria. I offer my congratulations to the committee of the Liverpool Migrant Resource Centre, headed by Chair Amad Mtashar, with Deputy Chair Vincent Ogu, Secretary Blanca Arely, Treasurer Haider Abdulla and Coordinator Kamalle Dabboussy, who does a fabulous job throughout our region. I would also like to acknowledge the hard, dedicated work undertaken by the staff of the Liverpool Migrant Resource Centre. They are certainly of very culturally and linguistically different backgrounds. I understand they speak more than 20 languages. They play an essential role in helping to integrate newcomers into our community.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon. BC Scott)—Order! In accordance with standing order 193 the time for constituency statements has concluded.