People, as much as machines, are a critical input to economic performance and growth. Effective and efficient development and utilization of our human resources is essential if Australia's economic potential is to be realised fully. It is equally important in terms of the individual's right to self-expression and economic security.
A major goal of the Government's multicultural policies is to improve the competitiveness and productivity of the economy through the proper management and development of our labour force. The fact is that one in four members of the Australian workforce - both men and women - are first or second generation people from non-English speaking backgrounds or Aboriginals.
Multicultural policies seek to maximise the contribution - the experience, job skills and entrepreneurial talents - of all Australians to the economic life of the community.
They seek to make better use of the qualifications of Australians born and trained overseas, and to remove the barriers of language, culture, gender, race or religion which faces many NESB and Aboriginal Australians.
By seeking to improve the management and use of our human resources, and thereby to contribute to a sustained improvement in our standard of living, multicultural policies serve the interests of us all.