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Labor welcomes HREOC’s multiculturalism position.

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Laurie Ferguson

Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs

20 August 07

Labor Welcomes HREOC’s Multiculturalism Position

Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Mr Laurie Ferguson today welcomed the launch of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Position Paper on Multiculturalism.

Speaking at the launch, Mr Ferguson said:

“Migrants and their children have the same right to maintain their traditional customs, beliefs and traditions as do long established groups and Indigenous Australians.”

“This requires a continued vigilance to ensure that we guarantee access to employment, availability of language maintenance, ethno specific aged care support, the proper funding for ethnic communications and avoidance of ghettoisation in our education system, through an unwillingness to diversify settlement.”

In launching the Position Paper. Acting Race Discrimination Commission Tom Calma pointed out that “Multiculturalism represents a Sound policy framework for promoting understanding…Multiculturalism, both as policy and as principles, supports the ideals of a democratic society in which every person is free and equal in dignity and rights.”

The significance of HREOC’s position was underscored in reports in today’s Australian Newspaper that the ‘ongoing isolation of Moslems is driving them outside the country in their search for information and community.”

Mr Ferguson said that Labor’s vision for a multicultural society is consistent with HREOC’s stated of objectives of promoting understanding, respect and friendship among racial and ethnic groups in Australia and to combat prejudices that lead to racial discrimination

Contact: Laurie Ferguson 0418 601 716