201509.09

Government to resettle extra 12,000 refugees fleeing Syria and Iraq


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As a Cabinet Minister, community leader and father, I am pleased to support our resettlement of an additional 12,000 refugees who are fleeing the conflict in Syria and Iraq.

Women, children and families of persecuted minorities who have sought refuge from the conflict in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey will be our focus in this humanitarian mission.

Our country will also provide humanitarian support to more than 240,000 Syrian and Iraqi people who had no option but to flee their homes and seek refuge in neighbouring countries. This support will include food, water, healthcare, education, emergency supplies and protection, including support for women and girls Рand we expect this to cost $44 million.

This is a measured, surefooted response to a humanitarian crisis which has affected us all.

Australians are compassionate and generous: These measures reflect our values as a nation and preparedness to play our part during times of international crisis.

The 12,000 places are additional to our humanitarian programme of 13,750. Our officials will work with the UNHCR to resettle the refugees as soon as possible and they will undergo normal security, health and character checks before coming to Australia and receiving permanent protection.

We will invest in settlement services to help ensure the families and individuals benefiting from our expanded humanitarian program have every prospect of successfully enjoying the opportunities we all have as Australians.

I want to spell out to those critics of our approach to refugees that our nation leads the way amongst nations. Our intake permanently resettles these people who are subject to personal persecution, whose lives are shattered and are unable to return and rebuild in their homeland.

As Australians we will all work to ensure these people can start new lives of opportunity and hope in our country. We are able to make this contribution because the Coalition Government has stopped the flow of illegal boats to Australia, easing the pressure on our humanitarian programme.

We can all play a role in supporting our community and the support services which will work on this resettlement.

I know our community will welcome the permanent resettlement of these people. Our country is a place where those who are in fear of their life can rebuild and again be at peace.

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