Premier Daniel Andrews promised another $14.3 million to support multicultural communities in Victoria, recently.
$6.9 million of the package will be utilised to expand health messages and support for multicultural organisations that are involved in providing emergency relief, accommodation and food to people in isolation.
$5.5 million will support the distribution of vital health messages through translation and interpretation services, ensuring the important information is available in 55 different languages. A further 2 million will assist these services to meet increasing demand.
The current package is in addition to the previous $11.3 million package that was announced in May 2020 to help multicultural Victorians to stay connected to their communities through the Pandemic.
The Premier announced the additional grant at a virtual press conference held, recently, with representatives of multicultural media.
The press conference provided an update on COVID-19 and offered an opportunity for multicultural media members to ask questions directly to the premier.
Representatives from Greek, Italian, Chinese, Indian, African and other multicultural media were among those present at the conference call.
According to the premier Victoria is a harmonious and united community with thousands of people coming from various backgrounds. “Communication with all our different communities is more important now than ever before,” he said.
Addressing the multicultural media and their concerns the premier reiterated, “We need to see more voices in diverse media rather than less” He said that his Government would continue to ensure that everyone feels supported.
He said he was well aware that advertising revenue had taken a big hit and money was running out, however, instead of building a package for multicultural media he suggested that the various media outlets unite to provide him a strategic plan with an overarching structure on what measures need to be taken moving forward.
“As leaders in your fields prepare a list of things that are commonly required, sit down together and let me know what you need right now and on the other side of the Pandemic,” said the premier.
The premier then went on to answer questions posed by media representatives on various topics with a promise to hold more such meets in future.
In response to a question about international flight and students being allowed to travel into Victoria to resume their studies, the Premier said it was very difficult to predict what will happen tomorrow leave alone in a few weeks from now.
“The numbers we are seeing now are from the end of stage 3 or early stage 4 and they are changing everyday. Numbers will come down, but we have to be well past stage 4 to have the flights landing again. Only then we will very carefully and gradually resume getting flights and people into the state,” declared the premier.
In a message to families that were separated from their loved ones in aged care facilities, the premier said he was heartbroken to think that people who have lived their entire life in building a future here and in turn building Victoria are going through significant pain and grief. “A coronial enquiry is going on and we are doing everything we can in that sector. All aged care homes are being looked at and we continue to work closely with the Commonwealth Government to improve,” said the premier.
He said that the vast majority of Victorians are doing the right thing, however, he has been made aware of communities that are breaching regulations under the pretext of their faith and his advice to those communities is that this virus does not discriminate. Many families are being forced to plan funerals for their loved ones. People and their faith leaders should have the understanding to treat everyone with responsibility without breaking rules and without putting other families at risk.
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