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Council extends offer of assistance to Syrian refugees

14 September 2015

Western Downs Regional Council has been a part of preliminary discussions with the Queensland Government in relation to the Commonwealth Government’s recent announcement to accept an extra 12,000 refugees affected by conflict in Syria and Iraq, with Council extending an offer to assist in the settlement of up to 1,500 refugees.

Mayor Ray Brown said Council is still in early discussions with the Queensland Government, but that ultimately final decisions on the settlement of the refugees in Queensland and Australia remain with the State and Federal Governments.

“As Mayor of the Western Downs I have seen how great, strong, and generous our communities can be during times of need and disaster. As Australians we pride ourselves on coming together to ease suffering and provide support not only to our fellow countrymen but to all the world’s citizens facing hardship and crisis,” he said.

“Our region has benefited greatly from multiculturalism and we have the capability to do our small part in helping to ease the human suffering by assisting our Nation, our State and most importantly the families that have been displaced from their country through conflict and war.

“Council is concerned about the welfare of the Syrian refugees’ currently seeking asylum from the conflict in Syria and Iraq and have undertaken initial discussions with the State Government, extending an offer to assist in the placing of up to 1,500 refugees.

“These discussions were only preliminary and we are currently awaiting further negotiations once additional information becomes available, but ultimately the final decision in relation to the settlement of Syrian asylum seekers in Queensland and Australia remains with the State and Federal Governments as the lead agencies in this matter.

“We would like to see the refugees safely back in their own homeland eventually, and we acknowledge that the resettling of refugees in Australia will be a complex process, but I would like to see our communities come together and step forward to assist in providing Syrian families with a safe and welcoming environment.”

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