Multicultural Affairs Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said people on temporary visas and those who were socially isolated, not proficient in English or had anxiety from past trauma had been particularly affected.
“The Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs has been in regular contact with community leaders and representatives to ensure their voices are heard and the issues they face are recognised and addressed,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“We are also working closely with response and recovery agencies in Queensland and with Federal Government agencies, on behalf of affected multicultural communities.
“The $900,000 package is designed to complement these efforts and support community-level response to the pandemic.
“The Community Connections Support Package includes $283,000 in initiatives and $617,000 of boosted investment in existing programs.”
He said initiatives included $132,000 to scale up the I Speak Your Language telephone support program delivered by the Multicultural Communities Council Gold Coast and $141,000 to fund a community connector role in the Australian Red Cross.
Other funding for existing programs includes $420,000 to Communify Queensland to respond to increased demand from people seeking asylum who are on temporary visas, and a $90,000 boost for providers funded through the Community Action for a Multicultural Society (CAMS) program to support technology enhancements enabling online service provision and engagement.
“Alongside the Community Connections Support Package, existing contracts with service providers will be redirected to focus on supporting communities through COVID-19,” Mr Hinchliffe said.