Refugee Action Coalition
MEDIA RELEASEABBOTT’S SYRIA REFUGEE ANNOUNCEMENT: TOO LITTLE, TOO DISCRIMINATORY
AND TOO HYPOCRITICAL
FREE THE SYRIANS IN DETENTION
It is a welcome fact that the Abbott government will take 12,000
Syrians on top of the existing humanitarian intake of 13,750.
But the failure of the government to say over what time period the
12,000 will be brought to Australia, makes it impossible to know how
generous the government is being.
What we do know is that 12,000 is on the low side of the suggestions
that have been recently made regarding the numbers that Australia
could reasonable take. At the moment, Germany is taking more than this
number each day.
“The Abbott government cut the refugee intake from 20,000 when it was
elected. So we are already taken 18,000 fewer people because of the
anti-refugee policies of the Abbott government. Abbott want to look
like he is doing something, but is doing as little as possible at the
same time,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action
Coalition. “Even Liberal NSW Premier Mike Baird said that 10, 000 was
a minimum. Some Liberal backbenchers were suggesting 50,000, which is
more like it.”
What is also shocking is that the Abbott government is making a
fundamental break with the policy of a non-discriminatory humanitarian
“The stipulation that Australia’s selection would be from minority
groups is also transparently anti-Muslim,” said Rintoul. “Abbott is
continuing to inflame anti-Muslim sentiments which have been on
display from the likes of Cory Bernadi and George Christensen.
“By making the announcement of bombing Syria at the same time as
announcing the refugee intake, Abbott is trying to hide the reality
that it is the US bombing in Syria that creates refugees. The fact is
that the barrel bombs of Assad is responsible for far the vast
majority of Syrian civilian casualties.
“Lastly, the Abbott government, and the Labor Party, have turned a
blind eye to the Syrian asylum seekers that have been left rotting in
Australian-run detention centres.”
The Refugee Action Coalition has called a rally on Saturday, 12
September, 2pm at Sydney Town Hall to call for the government to free
the Syrian asylum seekers from detention, increase the immediate
Syrian intake, increase the annual humanitarian intake, end tow-backs,
and close Manus and Nauru.
For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713