Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The Gillard government is reinstating the key principles of access and equity to all citizens of Australia. In her opening address to the second Multicultural Round Table on Thursday at parliament house, the PM told her multicultural audience: “In the long standing Labor tradition the government is establishing permanent channels of communication with the multicultural communities, with the aim to keep non-English speaking Australians informed about government policies and ensure equal access to information and services.” The prime minister assured her audience, “the reconnection of the government with the multicultural communities is neither a tokenism nor a vote hunting exercise. It is a real reflection of the belief in the need of the incumbent to serve the needs of the segment of the Australian community restricted by their limited knowledge of the English language.” Other speakers included Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen and Special Minister of State Gary Grey. In the introductory remarks to his address on the state of the Australian economy, Mr Shorten extolled the importance of the multicultural media as service providers to non English speaking Australians. Using Neos Kosmos as the example Bill Shorten remarked: “The government understands that not everyone reads the Herald Sun, or The Age or watches certain television channels. I understand that in my electorate Maribyrnong, a northwestern suburb of Melbourne, 34 per cent of my voters were born overseas, 51 per cent of my voters speak a second language other than English. And again, without giving a particular plug to a particular media outlet, I happened to see the newspaper distribution list for the local newsagency and Neos Kosmos outrates The Australian“. Immigration Minister Bowen outlined the government’s response to the Michael Knight Strategic Review of the Student Visa Program 2011, stressing that the government “supports in principle all of Mr Knight’s recommendations”. Speaking to Neos Kosmos, Bowen confirmed Australia he is negotiating with Greece on the signing of a reciprocal work visa agreement, that will enable Greek tourists visiting Australia to work during their sojourn down under, and vice versa. “Negotiations with Greece have commenced and we are hopeful we will have an agreement in place within a reasonable span of time,” the minster said. Mr Bowen repeated earlier comments against “preferential treatment” of prospective Greek migrants to Australia – given Greece’s economic crisis – stating that “there are processes to be followed and criteria to be fulfilled by all prospective migrants to Australia.” The minister urged interested parties to refer their interest to the relevant Australian authorities or attend the Skills Expo to be staged in Athens between 7 and 8 of October.