FECCA welcomes budget measures for multicultural communities, but more is needed

9 May 2023

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) welcomes tonight’s federal budget which aims to address cost of living pressures. We know that some of our communities have been disproportionately affected and these measures will help. We are pleased there are several specific measures targeted at our communities such as: $2.5 million to support […]

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) welcomes tonight’s federal budget which aims to address cost of living pressures. We know that some of our communities have been disproportionately affected and these measures will help.

We are pleased there are several specific measures targeted at our communities such as:

  • $2.5 million to support multicultural media literacy
  • $15.3 million to establish a PHN Multicultural Access Program to support multicultural communities to access primary care services
  • $4.7 million to boost COVID-19 vaccination rates in multicultural communities

Many of the budget initiatives, whilst not targeting our communities specifically, will impact on them.

We need to ensure those with limited English proficiency understand and can access measures, such as cost of living relief, Medicare reforms including MyMedicare, and can engage with digital platforms across government agencies.

Leading up to this year’s budget, FECCA urged the Government to invest in multicultural health, following the lessons learned from COVID-19. Tonight, there are clear signs that the Government is listening.

FECCA Chairperson, Mr. Carlo Carli said, “We are pleased with this budget and the increasing recognition that there needs to be more investment for multicultural communities.”

“We welcome the announcement of $2.5 million over four years for the Australian Multicultural Health Collaborative. This will further enhance our capacity to support our communities in engaging with health services and ensure that their voices are considered in the development of national policies and programs.” he said.

The care workforce is increasingly dependent on a migrant workforce, and we welcome the 15 per cent wage increase from 30 June 2023 for many aged care workers.

There remain considerable access and equity issues for our communities in accessing culturally appropriate and responsive mental health, aged care, and disability services. This will require further investment.

We expect significant investment for our communities in next year’s budget, following the outcomes of the Government’s Multicultural Framework Review due to begin this year.

Mr. Carli confirmed “FECCA will be advocating for a Multicultural Budget Statement for next year’s budget.”

About FECCA  

FECCA is the national peak body representing people from multicultural communities and their organisations across Australia. Through the membership of state, territory, and regional councils, we represent over 1,500 community organisations and their members.

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For media inquiries, contact: 0401 125 370 or media@fecca.org.au

FECCA calls on government to make a serious investment in multicultural health

8 May 2023

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) today called on the Government to invest in multicultural health ahead of the budget tomorrow. Multicultural communities have faced the brunt of health inequality during the COVID-19 pandemic, with some communities found to be 12 times more likely to die from COVID-19 compared to the general […]

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) today called on the Government to invest in multicultural health ahead of the budget tomorrow.

Multicultural communities have faced the brunt of health inequality during the COVID-19 pandemic, with some communities found to be 12 times more likely to die from COVID-19 compared to the general population according to the ‘Fault lines’ report.

This is a shocking statistic, and we know similar inequities exist across the health system. The Government must take immediate steps to invest in multicultural health to ensure we address barriers to equitable access to health for our communities.

Recently the Multicultural Health Connect line pilot program was prematurely terminated without consultation or any alternative model of health navigation support in place. The service provided in-language telephone support to multicultural communities, providing information about COVID-19 and support to navigate the health system.

“The decision to terminate the pilot is a significant setback for multicultural communities and is a source of deep concern. The timing is also unfortunate as we move into winter”, said FECCA Chairperson, Mr. Carlo Carli.

“Our communities continue to face significant challenges in accessing health services and culturally appropriate health information, and the Multicultural Health Connect pilot had the real potential to be vital lifeline for many people.”

“FECCA remains steadfast in its commitment to advocating for the rights and wellbeing of our communities,” said Mr Carli.

“We look forward to tomorrow’s budget with significant investment in multicultural health and we will be engaging in constructive dialogue with the government to address the challenges faced by these communities.”.

About FECCA  

FECCA is the national peak body representing people from multicultural communities and their organisations across Australia. Through the membership of state, territory, and regional councils, we represent over 1,500 community organisations and their members.

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For media inquiries, contact: 0401 125 370 or media@fecca.org.au