Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says Australia would risk caving into the fearmongering of terrorists if it turned away refugees.
Ms Bishop said she did not agree with calls to close the nation’s borders following the deadly Paris attacks, saying stringent screening and vetting processes were in place for all refugee arrivals.
‘Australia is an open tolerant, free society – that would be caving into the extremists and terrorists who want to change our way of life,’ she told reporters in Manila on Monday.
Calls for a rethink of plans to resettle fleeing Syrians came after a passport, found near the body of one attacker, reportedly carried the name of a Syrian refugee.
The minister said those reports were yet to be confirmed by French authorities.
‘But we cannot succumb to the fear that the terrorist organisations thrive upon,’ she said.
With the terror alert level remaining high, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull expressed faith in the nation’s security agencies when he spoke to reporters at the G20 summit in Turkey on Monday.
‘Attacks in this environment are likely to happen in the future but Australians can be assured we have the best security agencies,’ he said.
‘They are monitoring the situation and are seeking to protect Australians at home and so far as we can abroad.’
As Parisians slowly come to terms with the tragedy of the unprecedented attacks in their city, thousands of people gathered across Australia on Monday to show their support.
Muslim and Catholic leaders, French expats and locals were among those who paused at candlelight vigils and memorial services in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney to remember the victims.
The three attacks in Paris left around 130 people dead and scores injured, including 19-year-old Hobart woman Emma Parkinson.