The Migration Council Australia (MCA) today applauded the announcement of an increase to Australia’s humanitarian program to 20,000 places in 2012-13 and welcomed the Government’s commitment to work with the settlement sector to ensure services are in place.
The Migration Council also welcomed the announcement of community and private sponsorships. Ms Carla Wilshire, CEO of the MCA, said there is considerable good will in the Australian community and this initiative taps into the generosity of the Australian spirit.
“Private sponsorship will help to foster a sense of ownership over the humanitarian program through the active participation of the Australian community in the resettlement process.”
Ms Wilshire said the MCA would be focused on ensuring that private sponsorship is met by the full provision of settlement services.
“Private sponsorship only works when there are proper safeguards in place, such as services which help to integrate and resettle people properly.”
The MCA supports the recommendations of the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers that any increase in places under the humanitarian program should also be complemented by the normal provision for Australia’s world-class settlement services. “Settlement services are too important for Australia’s future and we cannot cut corners,” Ms Wilshire said.
“We have the world’s best system for settling vulnerable refugees and the focus of the program should remain on ensuring that everyone we resettle has a chance.
“Resettlement does not end with a visa, a new life means having the opportunity to fully participate in Australia,” she said.
Media contact: Carla Wilshire on 0409 363 888