The WA government is pushing to break down language barriers in the public sector.

The Western Australian government has released a new version of the Western Australian Language Services Policy 2020, designed to help agencies make information and government services more accessible to everyone.

Citizenship and multicultural interests minister Paul Papalia says the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for accessible information.

“The helps ensure that language and literacy are not barriers that prevent Western Australians from accessing services and programs,” he said.

Over 17 per cent of Western Australians speak a language other than English, and more than 14 per cent of that group do not speak English well or at all.

Additionally, the proportion of Western Australians communicating through Auslan is increasing.

The new policy is intended to improve access to government services and information on health, justice, education, training, housing and transport.

The policy requires agencies to “maximise the cultural and linguistic knowledge and skills” of staff.