THE state’s top multicultural panel has been told Warrnambool needs more language translators and potentially a “hub” located in the city to provide better support to the region’s migrants and people from culturally diverse backgrounds.
The Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) spent several hours yesterday taking public submissions and found new arrivals to the south-west needed better support if they were to remain in the region.
Barwon South West commissioner Teresa DeFazio said representatives from the south-west Vietnamese, Korean and Filipino communities had briefed her on issues facing their groups.
“One of the gaps seems to be bringing information together. So the participants were talking about a multicultural hub being something that isn’t here in Warrnambool and there’s scope to have that,” Ms DeFazio said.
A hub could be used to centralise information on interpreters, health and employment, she said.
“That model exists in other areas and what they’re saying was there’s nothing like that here.”
Ms DeFazio said the idea would be discussed at the commission and handed to the government along with other findings.
Dwindling funding for the Great South Coast skilled migration program was also raised during the hearing.
“What we’ve identified is that there are services but sometimes there’s been a disconnect. There’s been a very good skilled migration program but one of the concerns is the ongoing funding,” Ms DeFazio said.
So far only Warrnambool and Southern Grampians Shire have committed to the scheme to settle skilled migrants in the region.
State funding was pulled from the program this year leaving councils to finance settling medical and agriculture workers in the region.