Media Release – 17 September 2015
Today the Daily Telegraph published sensationalist coverage of the emergency resettlement of Syrian refugees in Sydney. Greens Member for Newtown and Spokesperson for Human Rights Jenny Leong said:
“Australians have responded with compassion to the heart wrenching images of Syrian refugees left with nothing after escaping war and destruction in their country. We have shown that we are ready to welcome refugees and offer safety to some of the 4 million Syrian men, women and children now displaced by the conflict.
“I am dismayed by the Daily Telegraph’s sensationalist coverage of the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Sydney.
“Sydney is the biggest city in Australia with a diverse multicultural population. We have more than enough capacity to welcome a few thousand people fleeing for their lives from a war-torn region.
“NSW Premier Mike Baird has rightly signaled that NSW is willing and able to take even more refugees.
“I have been approached by many people who have offered to personally do what they can to welcome Syrian refugees to Sydney. We are putting individuals in touch with the incredible organisations that are working to support refugees as they start new lives here, following an initiative from Adam Bandt in Melbourne that has seen thousands of people offer money, accommodation, or other help.
“We also need to review our stance on asylum seekers who have attempted to make their way to Australia only to find themselves in detention or on temporary protection visas.
“The President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, confirmed this week that there are Syrians currently living on Manus Island and Nauru in detention, as well as Syrians living in the community on temporary protection visas in this country. We know that some Syrians are being held in mandatory detention in Villawood, here in Sydney.
“We must remember that this is not a problem just happening overseas and elsewhere,” she said.
Community members who would like to directly assist Syrian refugees being resettled in Sydney are invited to sign up here.
Here's Jenny speaking on the plight of refugees and asylum seekers in Parliament this week.