PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 7960


Photo of Hawke, Robert

Hawke, Robert

Period of Service: 11/03/1983 to 20/12/1991

More information about Hawke, Robert on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 15/03/1990

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 7960

I have today reaffirmed the Labor Government's unequivocal
commitment to a fair, balanced and non-discriminatory
immigration policy, and to multiculturalism as a policy for
all Australians.
Foundations for the Future, the ALP's election policy
document, summarizes the Government's significant
achievements of the past seven years in the areas of
immigration, ethnic affairs and multiculturalism.
These policies will continue under the fourth Hawke
Government and will be supplemented by a number of further
initiatives I announced today. These commitments build on
the National Agendag for R Multic-ultural Augtralia, the
comprehensive policy and program package released last July.
In its fourth term an ALP Government will:
develop a nationally networked ethnic radio news and
current affairs service, through the S85, public radio
stations and the Public Broadcasting Foundation, at a
cost of up to $ 1.4 million in a full year million
over the next three years)
earmark $ 0.9 million over the next three years, through
the ABC and SBS, to provide training and career
development opportunities for non-English speaking
background Australians in the television industry
recognise the important communication role of the
ethnic press by aiming to direct at least 5 percent
( approx $ 1.5 million per annum) of government print
media advertising through ethnic newspapers
*-extend the reach of SBS television and legislate to
estbl-sh-SBS-as -on-independent--corporation committed
to multilingual and multicultural broadcasting
continue to develop the National Policy on Languages,
including continued support for a balanced program of
second language learning for all Australians
establish a National Bureau of Language Services to
provide better interpreter and language services across
the nation.

At the same time the Government will continue implementation
of the reform processes initiated in the National Agenda,
including new arrangements for the recognition of overseas
qualifications; examination of the needs for interpreters in
courts; review of the law and of administrative
decision-making processes as they operate in a multicultural
society; promotion of multicultural education in schools
through our National Strategy for Schools; development and
implementation of the Government's expanded and strengthened
Access and Equity requirements; and substantially increased
spending on English language programs.
Although the Opposition Parties have pulled back from the
brink of divisiveness that had characterised their stance on
immigration issues, there remain significant differences
between the major parties. Unlike the Opposition:
we will not deny social security benefits to permanent
settlers during their first year in Australia
we will not slash $ 20 million from the immigration
portfolio budget
we will not make the acquisition of Australian
citizenship harder by increasing the qualifying period
from two to four years
we will not contemplate marginalising the influence of
the Office of Multicultural Affairs by moving it from
the Prime Minister's portfolio
we will not abolish the Human Rights and Equal
Opportunity Commission.
The Government's record in the area of multicultural affairs
is unimpeachable. They are policies designed to achieve
three purposes: to enhance individual rights, to promote
greater social justice, and to maximise the efficient use of
Australia's human resources.
Today I unequivocally commit my Government to a
non-discriminatory immigration policy and equal opportunity
for all Australians no matter what their birthplace or their
colour, no matter what their religion or first language. We
have stood by our great ethnic communities when the going
was at its toughest and we will continue to do so during the
-Cgrm of the fourth Hawke Government.

Transcript 7960