Why is the review necessary?

    The only South Australian legislation specific to multicultural affairs is the South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission Act 1980. It was enacted 39 years ago and has not undergone major review in 30 years. Since the Act came into effect in 1980, South Australia’s population and multicultural landscape has changed significantly. Further, while the Act includes a definition of multiculturalism, it does not outline how South Australia can put multiculturalism into action.

    A review of the Act provides the opportunity to develop fresh legislation that affirms the government’s commitment to multiculturalism and its importance to South Australia. We need legislation that sets a foundation for the development of new multicultural policy that reflects the state’s cultural, linguistic and religious diversity, recognises the valuable contribution of our diverse communities and supports the development of culturally responsive government services.  

    What questions will the review ask?

    The review and consultation will focus on the following terms of reference:

    • Explore options for expanding the scope and purpose of the legislation to enshrine multicultural policy directions
    • Review the functions and powers of the Commission and ensure its title reflects this
    • Review the appointment process of Commission members
    • Contemporise language used in the Act.  

    The Terms of Reference are explained in detail in the discussion paper Multicultural Legislative Review 2019.

    What will be the main outcome of the review?

    The purpose of the review is to modernise legislation to build a stronger and vibrant multicultural South Australia. The main outcome of this review will be that revised or proposed legislation in the form of a Bill, will be introduced to Parliament by October 2019.  

    What will be the key priorities of the multicultural legislative review?

    The government would like to expand the scope of the legislation to enshrine multicultural principles. These will replace the current definition of multiculturalism in the legislation, supporting a more proactive approach to recognising and responding to a diverse South Australian community.

    Other key priorities are contemporising language used in the Act, as well as reviewing the functions and powers of the Commission, and appointment process of Commission members.

    What are some of the expected benefits from the new multicultural legislation?

    Some of the benefits of shaping new multicultural legislation for South Australia may include:

    • A set of multicultural principles that represent the government’s and community's views about multiculturalism and what it means for South Australians
    • An increased public awareness and understanding about multiculturalism
    • An improved understanding about the Commission and its role
    • A foundation for future multicultural policy for South Australia

    Who can provide input to the review?

    All members of the community and key stakeholders are invited to provide feedback during the engagement period.  Find out how to provide your feedback - get involved.