Michelle Landry
Michelle Landry Contributed

Unclear if CQ will get refugees

IT HAS not yet been decided if Central Queensland will be one of the locations that will accommodate a percentage of the additional 12,000 refugees that will resettle in Australia.

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry said, in a statement released to The Morning Bulletin today, it was not yet confirmed whether or not refugees would be coming to the region.

The uncertainty comes just months after Ms Landry and Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd encouraged the idea of refugees coming to CQ, saying regional communities needed more people to boost their local economies.

"The Commonwealth Department of Social Services is working closely with State and Territory Governments, the Australian Local Government Association and experienced service providers to help resettle these 12,000 additional refugees in Australia," Ms Landry said.

"Accommodating the people is being managed through the Commonwealth Government's existing Humanitarian Programme. People who come to Australia as part of this intake will be settled in a number of Australian communities, in both metropolitan and regional areas.

"Some families have started arriving in WA, other areas are yet to be determined. It is not yet determined if families will in fact come to Central Queensland."

However, MDA deputy chair Peter Forday said Rockhampton was within MDA's Humanitarian Settlement Services region and that he was confident CQ had the capacity to welcome refugees.

"The local community has a long history of welcoming migrant workers and provides great opportunity for newly arrived refugees who have strong motivation to make a social and economic contribution to the community in return," Mr Forday said.

"Currently, MDA is preparing to settle Syrian clients in partnership with communities all over Queensland and we are confident the Central Queensland community has the capacity and willingness to play its part in welcoming refugees."

The additional 12,000 refugees will undergo a thorough resettlement process and a number of factors will be considered when deciding on a suitable location.

The refugees are required to meet all criteria for a Refugee and Humanitarian visa, including health, character and security checks, before being granted a visa. A range of other factors including family and community links, the availability of services such as health, accommodation, English tuition and employment opportunities will also be considered.

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