28.2 C
Byron Shire
February 4, 2023

Call to immediately increase Australia’s refugee program

Latest News

Go Thistles!

Lismore Thistles Soccer Club has launched the Thistles Acceleration Program, in the process becoming the city’s only player development academy. 

Other News

A play that puzzles and delights

The multi-award-winning play is a puzzle of scenes that are slowly put together by the audience to tell the...

Mother and Daughter Stop Logging in Yarratt Forest

Two women who grew up in the Manning Valley are currently suspended from trees with  ropes connected to, and stopping, logging in Yarratt Forest north of Taree.

Ahana Candles

Victoria Cosford Many years ago, Marianni had a dream in which a golden liquid was pouring over her hands. She...

Iconic Mondays

The iconic Reggae Monday is coming back to the Beach Hotel after a long break, and just in time...

Only nine weeks to Bluesfest and 18 new artists announced

Easter is on its way and that means Bluesfest is only nine weeks away. 

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Have your Perfect Say

We live in a community where there is nowhere to live and the whole world is watching what we do next, wondering if we will do what their superstar tourist destinations did and regulate the housing market

Protesters carry placards at a 'Welcome Refugees' rally in Sydney (AFP)
Protesters carry placards at a ‘Welcome Refugees’ rally in Sydney (AFP)

The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) is calling on the Australian Government to immediately increase the Refugee and Humanitarian Program to at least 20,000 places in the coming year and rapidly scale-up the intake to 30,000 places in light of escalating global protection needs.

RCOA’s chief executive officer Paul Power said, ‘For every resettlement place offered by the international community, there are 11 refugees who are in urgent need of resettlement. This year less than one per cent of the world’s refugees will get the opportunity to be safely resettled and Australia is not doing its fair share.’

RCOA executive officer Paul Power. Photo LinkedIn
RCOA executive officer Paul Power. Photo LinkedIn

‘While we welcome the Australian Government’s medium term plan to increase the number of people it resettles, it is clear that Australia must do much more in assisting the global community deal with the growing challenge of displaced people and refugees,’ Mr Power said.

‘The world is facing the worst crisis in global displacement since World War II with more than 51 million people displaced, including more than 18 million refugees requiring safety and protection’, he said.

The call for an increase in Australian resettlement places comes in RCOA’s annual pre-Budget submission, compiled after a nationwide consultation with refugees, asylum seekers and the people who support them.

‘The growth in the number of displaced people globally is now at such a critical stage that we can’t afford to wait another year. We need action right now. So many people are in such desperate need worldwide, why are we dragging our heels?.

‘Australia’s asylum seeker policies have already garnered us a reputation as a nation which turns it back on people in need and pushes its responsibilities onto our much poorer neighbours

‘During the 2012-13 financial year, Australia’s Refugee and Humanitarian Program was rapidly increased from 13,750 places to 20,000 places. Communities, NGOs, service providers and public servants all rose to the challenge. We know that we have the capacity to offer protection to more people.

‘Australia’s asylum seeker policies have already garnered us a reputation as a nation which turns it back on people in need and pushes its responsibilities onto our much poorer neighbours. Our tight-fisted response to current global refugee crisis isn’t helping.

‘It’s time for Australia to show genuine leadership, as it did at the end of World War II and the Vietnam War, in taking urgent action to address this global crisis. Immediately increasing our resettlement program to 20,000 places annually would be a good way to start.’

The RCOA intake submission contains 35 recommendations based on feedback from service providers and community groups, as well as first-hand accounts from refugees and asylum seekers who live with the implications of Australia’s policies every day.

The full submission can be downloaded here:

http://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/2015-16_IntakeSub.pdf .


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Pothole protest gets immediate results

Psst: want to get Council staff to do something about the appalling state of roads in your neighbourhood? Organise a protest outside Mullum’s Council Chambers! By...

What’s Love Got to Do with It?

Art imitates life in What’s Love Got to Do with It? a 2022 British romantic comedy-drama film directed by Shekhar Kapur, from a screenplay by Jemima Khan.  The precis reads: ‘Set between London and Lahore, a filmmaker documents her childhood friend and neighbour’s arranged marriage to a bride from Pakistan.’

We’ve had the rain bomb, is a fire bomb next?

We had the Black Summer fires and then the floods and NSW Farmers says time is running out to prevent more mass bushfires at the end of this year.

A smorgasbord of flicks

This year’s smorgasbord of over 40 incredible short films are handpicked from a record 3,200 entries received for Flickerfest’s Academy® and BAFTA Qualifying short-film festival screened recently in Bondi, and Northern Rivers audiences are the first in Australia to experience the best of Flickerfest on tour. Highlights enjoying their Northern Rivers premiere include recent Academy® nominees and much-loved festival award winners alongside exciting, fresh, local talent.