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New contract for migrant English language tuition in NT.

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Gary Hardgrave MP Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs

Media Release H101/2003 - 1 August 2003

New Contract for Migrant English Language Tuition in NT

The Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Gary Hardgrave, said today a new $5 million contract would provide English language tuition, in the Northern Territory, to nearly 1,000 migrants and refugees from more than 44 countries and 40 language backgrounds.

The contract, between the Commonwealth and the Northern Territory University (NTU), will provide English language tuition over the next five years.

'This contract will enable Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) tuition to be delivered across the Territory, including to rural and regional clients,' Mr Hardgrave said.

Nationally, the Australian Government has allocated more than $500 million over the next five years to the AMEP, including $114 million this financial year.

'The AMEP is a vital component of the Government's commitment to nation-building, community harmony and cohesion,' Mr Hardgrave said.

'The new five-year contracts, which began on 1 July with AMEP service providers in each State and Territory, will help more than 100,000 new arrivals on their journey to successful settlement in Australia.'

'I congratulate the Northern Territory University on winning its second AMEP delivery contract since the introduction of tendering in 1998, and I look forward to continuing this successful partnership to best serve the needs of AMEP clients, the community and Australia as a whole,' Mr Hardgrave said.

The ceremony also featured the Minister's conferral of Australian citizenship on a number of former AMEP clients who have learned English at the NTU.

'For these AMEP clients, having acquired our national language, the next logical step in the settlement journey is to take out Australian citizenship - I congratulate each of them for the commitment they have made, and officially welcome them to our Australian family,' said Mr Hardgrave.

While in Darwin, the Minister will also conduct settlement consultations on the implementation of the Review of Settlement Services for Migrants and Humanitarian Entrants.

'This review has been invaluable in providing a clearer picture of what needs to be done to better meet the needs of newly arrived migrants and refugees,' Mr Hardgrave said.

Media contact: Amanda Lynch 0419 123 862