Put people before polls on refugees: Vinnies

06/07/2010

National President of the St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia, Syd Tutton, has urged the Prime Minister to put people before polls in preparing the Government’s position on asylum seekers.

"The St Vincent de Paul Society urges the Prime Minister to show true leadership on this matter rather than pandering to the racism and rhetoric of those who raise the alarm over the miniscule number of people seeking asylum in our great country," Mr Tutton said.

"We host only 0.2 per cent of the global refugee population. For every one asylum seeker there are 20 new permanent immigrants to Australia."

St Vincent de Paul Society National Chief Executive Dr John Falzon called on the Government to "deal calmly with hysterical claims from the Opposition that our national security is threatened by vulnerable people seeking asylum."

"The Prime Minister announced in her first speech as Leader that she would not be rewarding those who complain the loudest," Dr Falzon said.

“The Prime Minister knows that these people are not acting illegally in seeking asylum in this manner and that Australia has an international obligation to deal with their applications fairly.

“Rather than framing this as a sign of our weakness we should look at this legitimate process as a sign of our strength.”


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