Howard supports Multicultural Bill and refugee stance

A NEW Bill has been introduced into Queensland Parliament that will lead to greater support for Queensland's multicultural and multi-faith communities.

The Multicultural Recognition Bill will introduce a Multicultural Queensland Charter and establish a Multicultural Queensland Advisory Council, and commits all future Governments to formally recognise its multicultural society
through a multicultural policy and action plan.

Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard said the Bill was great news for the Ipswich multicultural community.

"Ipswich has become increasingly multicultural, and it has been a delight to celebrate our diverse cultures through
celebrations, festivals and other events," Ms Howard said.

"But this Bill will enshrine in legislation our Government's commitment to multiculturalism and symbolically recognise the contribution of Ipswich's multicultural and multi-faith groups to our public life.

"Multiculturalism benefits our economy, productivity, workforce and regional development."

Ms Howard said they were also pleased to hear that the Advisory Council's terms of reference would focus on the economic participation of migrants and refugees given the Premier's recent announcement that Queensland stands ready and able to resettle 3500 refugees fleeing conflict in Syria.

She said the new Bill brought Queensland into line with New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, which all have similar legislation.

The Multicultural Queensland Advisory Council will advise and make recommendations about Government policies on multiculturalism and the economic participation of migrants and refugees.

The Council will also consult with multicultural communities across the state, including in regional, rural and remote Queensland.

Statistical data regarding culturally and linguistically diverse people will be collected across relevant Government
agencies as part of the Bill, to improve the evidence on which targeted programs and services are based.

Chief Executives of Queensland Government agencies will also be required to inform their staff about the Charter, and the Bill's multicultural policy and action plan in order to translate the Charter into practice.

An interim Multicultural Reference Group has had input to the development of the Bill and Charter, and nominations will be called for a permanent Advisory Council.

For more information about the Bill, visit

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