14.2 C
Byron Shire
April 20, 2021

Tweed joins push to welcome refugees

Latest News

Byron Drag Racers World Record

The local AAA Racing motorcycle team have set a new world record in 100cc class, as well as a top national speed in 50cc class at the recent Australian Speed Week held at Salt Lake Gairdner, South Australia.

Other News

Hanging points

Jo Faith, Newtown Many thanks to The Echo for printing ex-magistrate David Heilpern’s remarkable article articulating the ongoing tragic situation surrounding...

Unauthorised dwelling capital of the world!

Could Main Arm’s title as the Unauthorised Dwelling Capital of the World be under threat?

Suffolk Park Pump Track

We the ‘Engaged Neighbours’, on behalf of the Suffolk Park pump track’s affected neighbours and 300–400 petitioners and letter writers, request Council NOT to continue to bulldoze the large fenced in section of Linda Vidler Parkland adjacent to Baz and Shaz’s shop, close to the houses on three sides.

Professor Graham Samuel says dementia care is personal

In a moving address to the National Press Club in Canberra yesterday, Dementia Australia Chair Professor Graham Samuel AC shared his personal experience of dementia – the anguish, bewilderment, frustration and torment experienced by his mother as she descended into the abyss of the disease.

Byron Drag Racers World Record

The local AAA Racing motorcycle team have set a new world record in 100cc class, as well as a top national speed in 50cc class at the recent Australian Speed Week held at Salt Lake Gairdner, South Australia.

Report and recommendations – First Nations people in custody

High, but not high enough, on the country's human rights agenda is the issue of Aboriginal deaths in custody.

Cr Barry Longland. His vote next week looks set to decide the mayoralty. Photo Jeff Dawson
Cr Barry Longland spearheaded the move for Tweed to be identified as a Refugee Welcome Zone.

Tweed is joining a push around Australia to identify shires as welcome zones for refugees in the face of a global crisis in displaced people.

Last night Tweed shire councillors voted to join the initiative of the Refugee Council of Australia to make a declaration for the Tweed to be identified as a Refugee Welcome Zone.

The Syrian war alone has seen four million refugees flee their homes into neighbouring countries, and many are looking for shelter in Europe.

Cr Barry Longland. who spearheaded the move, said around 130 local government areas in Australia had now joined the initiative.

‘This initiative is a commitment in spirit to upholding the human rights of refugees and recognition of the enhancement of cultural diversity in our community that they bring,’ Cr Longland said.

The initiative began in June 2002 as part of Refugee Week celebrations which coincides with the United Nations World Refugee Day on 20 June each year.

To mark the occasion of becoming a Refugee Welcome Zone, many councils choose to hold public signing ceremonies.

Cr Longland said ‘these provide an opportunity to highlight the initiative and acknowledge the work of local groups and individuals that support refugees and asylum seekers’.

He said Lismore City Council became a Refugee Welcome Zone in 2007 at a time when the local area was experiencing an increase in the settlement of people from refugee backgrounds.

‘There have been significant changes in the nature of the local refugee population and much of this is as a result of the changes in the Australian Government settlement programs, countries of origin, and refugee settlement services,’ he said..

‘There are no Humanitarian Settlement Services based in the Tweed Shire and it has been difficult to obtain data on the number of refugees that may be settled in the area.

‘The North Coast Primary Health Network Need Assessment states: “Australia accepts 13,500 people per year as part of its Refugee and Humanitarian Program and most have been selected for resettlement from overseas along with a small number of asylum seekers. In NSW, metropolitan Sydney locations receive the majority of arrivals.

* Mid North Coast NSW had 2.2 per cent (571) of all NSW humanitarian arrivals between 2005-2011 which is in the high range for all other regional NSW.

* Northern NSW had 0.4 per cent of arrivals which is higher than the Central Coast and Western Local Health Districts.”

Cr Longland said the nearest Humanitarian Settlement Services were based in Coffs Harbour and Logan City, while Complex Care Support Services are in Grafton and Southport.

‘Within the shire there is a community initiative called the Uki Refugee Project and local people have been welcoming refugees as a friendship and awareness building program,’ he said.






















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.


  1. I think it’s a splendid idea. It’s about time we had a couple of mosques in each town in the shire.
    Then see how things develop from there.

    • You hit the nail on the head Steve.

      Intake of “refugees” is an admirable humanitarian gesture but we need to be very careful of the impact those people will have on our culture and social structure.

      The societies these people left behind failed because of destructive attitudes and behaviours. These people bring with them those attitudes and behaviours.

      Suppression of women. Religious intolerance.

      Australians are generally an easy going. A huge intake of refugees who are essentially incompatible with our behaviours and norms will test that easy going tolerance.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Your Local Club Academy Games

The North Coast Academy of Sport prepared its largest squad ever to compete at the 2021 Your Local Club Academy Games, held in the Hunter region last weekend.

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 21 April, 2021

Check out entertainment listings for the week, with music, dance, cinema and all sorts events happening in and around the Byron Shire

Interview with Toni Childs

Internationally celebrated musician, Emmy winner and three times Grammy nominee Toni Childs is bringing her show to The Brunswick Picture House. With two acts, Childs is promising a special two hour performance as she celebrates her vast catalogue of music, which also saw her celebrate the 30th anniversary of her critically acclaimed album Union in 2019.

Jungle juice

There are times when water just doesn’t cut it. And luckily, for those times, there is Jungle Juice.