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Democrats launch campaign to promote a multicultural Australia.



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DEMOCRATS

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MEDIA SUNDAY 19 FEBRUARY 2006

SENATOR ANDREW BARTLETT AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS DEPUTY LEADER

DEMOCRATS LAUNCH CAMPAIGN TO PROMOTE A MULTICULTURAL AUSTRALIA

The Australian Democrats have launched a campaign urging stronger support for multiculturalism from Governments and community leaders.

Releasing a “Strength in Diversity” postcard today, Democrat Deputy Leader, Senator Andrew Bartlett renewed calls to the State and Federal Governments to more actively promote the importance and benefits of multiculturalism.

“We need our Governments and other community leaders to be more active and take measures to highlights the benefits multiculturalism brings to our society, its importance in combating extremism and misunderstanding, and to ensure that newly arrived migrants and refugees are given better settlement support. “

“The effectiveness of multiculturalism is under threat, with a sustained attacks and criticisms coming from some commentators and politicians.”

“Governments must to do more to quell unfounded fears about cultural and religious diversity.”

“Our strength as a nation is in our diversity. A strong democracy thrives on diversity - a diversity of ideas and cultures built around the essential values which has made Australian society so strong.”

“Assimilation was not abandoned in Australia because of some sort of politically correct sensibilities; it was abandoned because it didn’t work and created separation, division and disadvantage. To go back in that direction at a time when our planet has become smaller than ever and international contact more frequent than ever would be a grave mistake.”

“Multiculturalism has been shown to work, but only if the hard yards are done by Governments to ensure that people of all backgrounds are acknowledged and supported, rather than isolated.”

“The Democrats will continue to strongly promote the importance and benefits of multiculturalism and the need to do more to ensure all parts of our community are able to participate fully in our society,” Senator Bartlett said.

Media contact - Senator Andrew Bartlett - 0418 743 789