Highlighting Local Grant Recipients


Ms CLAYDON (Newcastle—Deputy Speaker) (12:26): In New South Wales alone, almost one-third of school students have family ties to languages other than English. Community language schools provide important opportunities for schoolchildren to ensure that Australia's diverse traditions, languages and culture can thrive.

Through the Albanese Labor government's $15 million scheme to assist the more than 600 community language schools across Australia, we are not only investing in children's education but also investing in a future for Australia where diversity is recognised and celebrated and where every Australian knows they have an important contribution to make. Over 90,000 students learning 84 different languages will benefit from this funding, including those in my electorate of Newcastle, where nine community language schools have received grants to support upgrades to classrooms, purchase equipment, improve access for disadvantaged students, strengthen online delivery or establish new schools so that more students can access language learning.

Congratulations to the following community schools in Newcastle: the Afghan Association of Hunter; Eine Kleine Deutsche Schule; the Newcastle Arabic School; the Newcastle Korean Language School; the Russian School of Newcastle; the Macedonian Orthodox Community of Newcastle and Districts; Tibetan Children's School of Newcastle and Hunter Region; Wananchi Newcastle, who teach Swahili; and the Alliance Francaise de Newcastle, whom I enjoyed a visit with just last weekend and who received $33,600 to support their important language work. I want to give a very big shout-out to all the teachers, students, families and volunteers at that centre.

I also want to acknowledge the seven Newcastle businesses that received support from the Albanese Labor government with the energy efficiency grants to help keep their power bills down. Congratulations go to Maxwell Recruitment, Maxwell Apprentices and Maxwell Training; to Kooragang Water; and to Peter Kilmurray Lawyers. A special mention must go to the two that I was able to visit very recently. The first one is the Mayfield West Kebabs and Charcoal Chicken shop, which is a favourite amongst local tradies—and my office staff, it must be said! They received a grant to upgrade their refrigeration and exhaust system. The second is the Newcastle Theatre Company, who replaced their stage lighting with LEDs, which not only saves on their energy bills but is also a much cooler outcome for performers on stage.

Because today is 1 July, small- and medium-sized businesses like these will also be getting $325 off their energy bills. When cost-of-living pressures are being felt, this government is here to support our community and to support our small businesses, because that's what Labor governments do.