Joint statement on asylum seekers living in the community
12 June 2015
Mayor Cr Sean O’Reilly and Cr Roz Blades yesterday presented a Joint Statement on Asylum Seekers Living in the Community to Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield. The presentation, on behalf of 19 Councils, represented the interests of approximately 1.5 million Victorians. The Joint Statement advocates to the Commonwealth Government for the necessary resources and information that will allow both local government and local community organisations to meet the needs of all their community members.
Local Government notes that providing adequate resources for support of asylum seekers based in the community is a duty of the Australian nation and primarily a responsibility of the Commonwealth Government of Australia.
The provision of support programs and services for asylum seekers falls increasingly on local government and their partner community groups in the municipalities where asylum seekers are living while they await a determination on their status. Should the demand for resources continue to grow there is a genuine risk that asylum seeker programs will increasingly fail to meet the needs of everyone in the community.
The 19 Councils requested commitments from the Australian Government in aid, information and statistics, social inclusion and engagement, local level coordination, housing, education and accountability.
Mayor, Cr Sean O’Reilly said, “presenting this Joint Statement to Senator Mitch Fifield yesterday, showcases the determination and commitment that local government has when it comes to working and assimilating asylum seekers into their respective municipalities”.