Australia increases funding for new integration initiatives

30 May 2007


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Australia plans to spend $32 million AUD in 2007 and 2008 on a range of services designed to help refugees and other migrants with their integration into mainstream Australian life. The budget includes $19 million AUD in new projects.

The 231 new projects were introduced on 29 May 2007 by Assistant Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Teresa Gambaro. The projects will be provided by 149 community organizations and will help refugees and other migrants become "become self-reliant and participate in Australia's social and economic life."

The Settlement Grants Programme (SGP) will assist migrants in building practical skills such as learning traffic laws and obtaining a driver's license, help them to access medical services, and provide assistance to help their children do well in school.

"It is important migrants and refugees quickly develop a general understanding of the Australian community and its values so they can integrate quickly to make the most of the opportunities available in Australia," said Gambaro.

Grants will also be provided to help new and emerging migrant communities establish themselves and participate in the wider Australian community.

Gambaro believes that the "organizations funded through the SGP grants are doing a wonderful job to support their clients at the grass roots level, and I expect this new round of grants will build upon the excellent range of services already in place."

The SGB grants are aimed at refugees, family sponsored migrants and dependents of those on skilled migration visas who have poor knowledge of English.


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