THE City of Whittlesea will take a stand against the federal government after passing an urgent business item about supporting refugees.
Mayor, Cr Kris Pavlidis, who doubles as the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria chairperson, rose to ask the council for their support for the Victorian Local Government Joint Statement Against Changes to the Status Resolution Support Service for People Seeking Asylum.
The council decided to formally adopt the urgent item which will see the City of Whittlesea call on the federal government to reverse the assessment changes on the Status Resolution Support Services program and to continue to provide to funding for vulnerable residents.
Cr Pavlidis said she was pleased the motion passed.
“I am really pleased that the council has continued to lead in the debate by moving the urgent motion. This demonstrates the commitment to people setting in our community and realising their vulnerability,” she said.
“I think the essence of the motion is for people to be able to join our community. It is incumbent of citizens to give a helping hand when needed.
“This is basic survival. Their food, housing costs and being able to live. It is basic living needs. It isn’t enough to stamp a passport. Particularly with people arriving with trauma, maybe under tragic situations that we can’t fathom, so we can’t understand their plight.”
Federal Member for McEwen commended the council on their decision to support refugees.
“The City of Whittlesea has a long history of supporting migrant residents and refugees,” he said.
“They need to be commended for their leadership.
“As we are in opposition [Labor party], we have a solid policy to discuss about refugees but the main thing for us is returning decency to people.
“We need to protect children, look after people… we don’t support the hap hazard way the government has cut support to refugees.”