Today the Canberra Liberals succeeded in moving an amendment to a motion recognising the importance of English language skills to the Canberra multicultural community.
The Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Giulia Jones MLA, moved the amendment to a motion by Greens MLA Andrew Braddock.
“The states and territories along with the Commonwealth government share the responsibility of giving new Australians every opportunity to develop their English skills,” Mrs Jones said.
“Having greater English skills will allow newer Australians to easier navigate government services, and access the breadth of services that are available for their proper functioning as Australians and Canberrans."
The amendment required the ACT Government to report on the availability of English language classes and conversation groups within the ACT by August 2022.
“The study I commissioned in 2013 showed that the family’s financial stability takes of course precedence over everything when people first arrive here and very often that means that mums are home with kids while dads are at work.”
The amendment also recognised the impact of Covid-19 on the availability of English language classes in the ACT. Mrs Jones called for an increase in funding for English language conversation classes, especially for women.
"It seems that again this government is not paying attention to the details of policies set under the Stanhope era, which have not been refreshed or reassessed. The funding per head which community language schools receive has been at a standstill for a decade," Mrs Jones concluded.