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Better funding for effective setlement services needed.

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Australian Democrats Press Releases

Senator Andrew Bartlett Deputy Parliamentary Leader and Democrats Senator for Queensland Australian Democrats spokesperson for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs

Dated: 18 May 2006

Press Release Number: kpgmraqt Portfolio: Immigration and Multicultural Affairs

Better funding for effective setlement services needed

Democrats deputy leader and spokesperson on Immigration, Senator Andrew Bartlett has called for more funding for migrant settlement assistance and English language courses in light of a Productivity Commission report.

The big increases in permanent skilled migration, along with even bigger leaps in temporary residency visas for workers mean we effectively have the highest migrant intake in our nations history, Senator Bartlett said.

With a record migrant intake contributing to our economic and social development, it is crucial for the Government to invest more in effective settlement services, including making English language teaching more accessible and affordable over a longer period than is currently provided.

As the Productivity Commission report makes clear, English proficiency and the ability to settle effectively plays a key part in what immediate economic benefits migrants bring to Australia.

Senator Bartlett also said the Productivity Commission report does not address the wider, long-term social contribution that migrants make to our nation, but our migration program needs to do more to take this factor into account.