Greens to strengthen WA multiculturalism

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Greens would work towards a Multiculturalism Act in WA, similar to Queensland and Victoria, advocate for the restoration of funding to the Ethnic Communities Council of WA and increase investment into domestic violence services for women to better serve the needs of all Western Australians.

The Greens would also call for the urgent establishment of a complaints line for West Australians to report incidents of race hate to be housed within the Equal Opportunity Commission in order to help combat the rise of racial discrimination and vilification.

The Celebrate Diversity package released today was in response to the surge in racist rhetoric from Trump’s Muslim ban and One Nation’s ongoing attacks on minorities.

Greens candidate Alison Xamon said the establishment of the complaints line would enable people who experience race hate to report discrimination, lodge complaints under the Equal Opportunity Act, be referred to support services and where necessary be referred to police for assistance.

“We at the Greens often hear stories of people from diverse cultural backgrounds being bullied on public transport, in our shopping centres and at school simply because of what they’re wearing. Sometimes it is reported to the police, but we want to go a step further and ensure these instances of race hate are being collated and reported back to Parliament,” she said.

“The barrier people feel when reporting hate crimes are cultural and linguistic and people often have no idea of their rights.  We want to ensure that barrier to equality is broken down so that people can feel safe within their own community.

“If WA is to become a safe, prosperous state that works and serves all its citizens, then we must move forward with a sense of solidarity and hope.

“Since the foundation of our state we have welcomed migrants and they have made, and will continue to make, a valuable and positive contribution to society and our economy.

“Many nationalist and far-right groups, such as One Nation ask us to define our identity in opposition to another person’s identity.

“This way of looking at ourselves inevitably leads to conflict and fear and we must counter this negative view of our community.”

The Greens (WA) Initiative will;

  • Work towards the introduction of a Multiculturalism Act, similar to those in Victoria and Queensland.
  • Call for funding for a complaints line within the Equal Opportunity Commission.
  • Work towards an anti-racism strategy to counter divisive groups and language that damages and divides our community.
  • Advocate for the restoration of peak body advocacy funding to the Ethnic Communities Council of Western Australia.
  • Work towards the establishment of transcultural health and mental health services which operate on a hub and spoke model in order to ensure equal access to these essential services.
  • Call for the establishment of culturally specific services for CaLD families experiencing domestic and family violence.
  • Work towards ensuring that public infrastructure has integration of design principles and standards that are culturally sensitive to the needs of diverse communities.
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