Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced at the May 11, 2011 budget briefingfor Multicultural media that the government plans to create a Multicultural media Round Table to get a feedback on various government advertising policies.
As a first step, after the presentation of the Federal Budget Julia Gillard said,” this Prime Minister very much values the rich multiculturalism and diversities of Australian community. It is for this very reason that we are holding the first-ever multicultural media briefing. And, as the next step we shall be creating a Multicultural Media Roundtable that will give us an opportunity to get your feedback.”
“You are getting news and information from various sources and we think it is important for us to engage with you and provide information which you can use in a way you deem it fit.”
Her address was followed by briefing by several Federal Ministers led by Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Bowen, MP.
BOOST IN MIGRATION TO AUSTRALIA
Mr. Bowen said the Federal Government will implement a suite of regional migration initiatives together with an increase in permanent migration – to 185 000 visas – the 2011-12 to deliver on its broader economic and regional development priorities.
Importantly, this also includes a boost to the family intake level as part of Australia’s increased migration program.
He said migration was a crucial economic driver and contributed to an innovative and dynamic workforce.
“Australia is a country that has been built on migration and the Gillard Government understands that migrants will contribute to our future economic success as a nation,” Mr Bowen said.
“Around two-thirds of the increased migration program will be for skilled migrants to help fill critical skill needs, particularly in regional areas.
“The skill stream intake will increase to 125 850 places, with 16 000 places allocated to the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme.
“Regional areas will also benefit from the introduction of Regional Migration Agreements, a new initiative that will bring together employers, local and state governments and unions to cooperate in addressing local labour needs.”
Mr Bowen said the important family intake level for the 2011-12 migration program would also increase to 58 600 places, with the majority of the increase going to partner visas.
“The Gillard Government understands the importance of the family program to allow for the reunification of Australians with their close relatives, children and spouses,” he said.
“The doubling of parent visas will bring families together and recognises the contribution and commitment that migrants make to Australia.”
Gillard Government funds growth for universities
The Gillard Government is investing a further $1.2 billion over the next four years to fund growth in university enrolments and make higher education available to all Australians.
Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans, said this landmark investment will change the lives of hundreds of thousands of Australians, particularly the children of migrants and second generation Australians, funding more than 480,000 undergraduate places at public universities this year.
This investment is on top of $2.77 billion in funding already committed by the Gillard Government and will ensure a better opportunity for all Australian young people to pursue a university education.
“Many migrants have made significant sacrifices in coming to Australia so that their children will get the opportunity of a good education and contribute to Australia,” Senator Evans said.
“The Gillard Government understands the value of education and this investment will deliver for families who value education and are keen to get a university qualification.
“We are determined that all Australians – regardless of their background – should have the opportunity to gain a university education.
“A university education is a ticket to greater career choice and to high skilled and high paid jobs. These are aspirations that thousands more Australians will now be able to realise.
“That’s why Labor is making an historic investment of $35.7 billion over the next four years in teaching and learning in our universities to ensure more Australians enjoy the opportunities available to those who hold university qualifications.
“In this next generation of students, there will be many migrants and second generations Australians who will be the first in their family to go to university because of this Government’s reforms,” concluded Minister Evans.
INCREASING SPORT PARTICIPATION WITH MULTICULTURAL YOUTH GRANTS
As part of the Federal Government’s commitment to increasing participation in sport applications are open for the Multicultural Youth Sports Partnership Program.
Minister for Sport Mark Arbib and Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs said the Multicultural Youth Sports Partnership Program will provide grants of between $5,000 and $50,000 to support the costs associated with community sport around Australia.
Senator Arbib said the grants will create opportunities for young people from culturally diverse backgrounds to engage with sport and physical activity.
“The Australian Government wants to see all Australians have access to safe, fun and inclusive sporting opportunities,” Senator Arbib said.
“I believe sport is central to the Australian way of life, and sport can help to teach children from all cultures values, such as self-discipline, team work and how to reach your goals.
“The Government wants children from all backgrounds to have equal access to sporting opportunities. We want to see children out of their lounge rooms and into their backyards, playing with friends, playing down at their local sporting clubs.”
Senator Lundy said the opening of the grant applications was a commitment from the Australian Government to promote social cohesion and build a more inclusive multicultural society.
“Sport is a fabulous driver for building participation and inclusion for young Australians from diverse backgrounds,” Senator Lundy said.
“The grants will play an important role in helping these young people to participate in their local communities through sport.”
Senator Arbib said the Gillard Government was supporting multiple programs to increase and support participation including the Active After-School Communities Program and the participation funding for the national sports agreement.
Successful applicants for the 2011-12 Multicultural Youth Sports Partnership Program grants will be announced in July.
Applications are open for a period of four weeks from 29 April 2011, to apply visit www.ausport.gov.au for eligibility details and information
MORE for SMALL BUSINESS
Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation Bill Shorten said the Gillard Government recognises the contribution that migrant communities make to our economy with approximately 27 per cent of business operators born overseas.
He said the 2011-12 Budget will provide additional cash flow benefits to millions of small businesses through the tax system. Small businesses, which make up 96 per cent of our businesses, are the backbone of our economy and deserve all the help we can provide.
“Through hard work, strong families and drive, many migrants and Australians from non-English speaking backgrounds have built strong and successful small businesses in Australia,” said the Assistant Treasurer.
“To recognise and reward this enterprising spirit the Government will reduce income tax instalments paid under Pay As You Go (PAYG) using the gross domestic product (GDP) adjustment method for one year.
“This change will deliver a $700 million cash flow benefit from lower tax payments in 2011-12, mainly to small businesses.”
This measure builds on the Government’s tax reforms for small businesses to be introduced in 2012‑13 that include:
• an immediate write-off of the first $5,000 on the purchase of any motor vehicle;
• an immediate write-off of all assets valued at under $5,000 (up from $1,000 presently) estimated to cost $1.7 billion over the forward estimates;
• a write-off of all other assets (except buildings) in a single depreciation pool at a rate of 30 per cent. Currently, small businesses allocate assets to two different depreciation pools, with two different depreciation rates (30 per cent and five per cent); and
• a reduction in company tax rate to 29 per cent for incorporated small businesses.
The changes will apply to all small businesses, including sole traders and businesses operating through trusts, partnerships and companies. These reforms will make tax simpler for small business, while increasing cash flows so they can reinvest and grow their businesses.
The Government is also providing increased certainty for the many small businesses that use trusts to manage their financial affairs. The changes to trust laws will enable the streaming of capital gains and franked distributions.
The changes will apply for the 2010-11 and later income years. “It is important to make these changes so small businesses using trusts can continue to do so with confidence and enjoy more certainty, particularly in relation to streaming of capital gains and franking credits,” Mr Shorten said.
The Government is determined to help the nation’s 2.7 million small businesses remain vibrant and competitive, and these measures are an important part of that commitment.