Multicultural youth centre funding fight escalates

The Victorian Opposition has taken a swipe at the State Government, accusing it of failing to assure continued funding for the Centre for Multicultural Youth offices in Ballarat and Morwell beyond June this year.

“I call on Daniel Andrews to commit to funding the Ballarat and Morwell CMY offices to ensure that our key regions retain this crucial network and support for multicultural youth,” spokesperson for multicultural affairs Inga Peulich said.

“This is not the time for Daniel Andrews and Labor to ignore the needs of our multicultural and regional communities in what are increasingly uncertain times.”

The CMY main office in Carlton previously confirmed to The Express it had yet to be advised if funding for the two regional offices would form part of the state budget in May.

Established by the Coalition Government in 2011 to assist youth from migrant and refugee backgrounds, the CMY Ballarat and Morwell offices were granted $1.8 million funding until June 2015.

Ms Peulich said if the current government failed to continue funding the two centres it would adversely affect migrant populations in Ballarat and regional Victoria.

The spokesperson for Multicultural Affairs Minister Robin Scott said a “proper process” was being followed in the budget so it was not appropriate to “rule in or out” if something would or would not be appropriated for the two CMY regional offices.

CMY chief executive Carmel Guerra has remained confident the State Government would not “remove a needed service like this that is shown to be making a difference in the community”.

She said the Latrobe Valley was the fourth largest rural region in Victoria and had the second highest proportion of overseas-born residents in regional Victoria. The Express attempted to contact the Victorian Multicultural Commission for a comment, but it did not respond in time for print.