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Refugee Reality.

April 10, 2012

Hello and Good Afternoon…

This Easter weekend I spent a great deal of time organising things ahead of our relocation to Melbourne.

We have lots of furniture and your average household effects that have accumulated over the last 10 years that we no longer need, particularly as we will be moving from a house to an apartment.

Through the power of Facebook, I contacted a friend who is involved in charity work to find out if any charitable organisation could make use of some of the goods.

One thing led to another, and eventually I found out through another friend (via Facebook) that she is currently helping to support a refugee from Afghanistan who was, up until recently, being held in detention at the Pontville Detention Centre North of Hobart.

When the detention centre closed earlier this year, the refugees were given the choice of either being transferred to a detention centre in Darwin or could receive a bridging visa for six weeks and stay in Hobart.  The young man I heard about, and two others,  decided to stick together in Hobart and see if they could make things work.

Despite what we hear about from the likes of Scott Morrison, here is the reality that I discovered that asylum seekers like this young man “Fayed” face:

Upon release from the Detention Centre, Fayed was placed into the hands of the Red Cross to find him temporary accommodation.  The Red Cross take care of refugees for a period of two to six weeks.

Fayed is currently staying at a backpacker’s hostel, courtesy of the Red Cross, however he will have to find his own own accommodation in less than a fortnight, when his Red Cross funded accommodation expires.

Fayed is determined to make a new life for himself in Australia and has been looking for work wherever and whenever he can. He is currently working as a kitchen hand three nights a week.

Aside from granting Fayed a bridging visa for six weeks, the Government provides no financial support whatsoever.

Fayed, who speaks very little English is given no information, support or guidance from the Government in terms of how to secure a job or find accommodation.

Despite wanting to improve his English literacy, Fayed is not allowed to register for English courses at TAFE because they do not accept applicants who only have a bridging visa.

Instead, Fayed has been spending much of the small amount of money he earns on private English tuition.

Fayed is given no information from the Government about the process of applying for a temporary visa to replace his bridging visa.

Instead he is dependent on a few local Tasmanians who are providing whatever support and guidance they can. This involves liaising with the Department of Immigration on Fayed’s behalf.

While he remains on his bridging visa, Fayed is not entitled to any Centrelink entitlements.

Refugees like Fayed are in a dire predicament.

Most know very little if any English.

Most, if not all, are given very little support or guidance about the immigration process.

They are denied access to Government education.

They are denied access to Centrelink entitlements that are afforded others in similar circumstances.

They are basically left to fend for themselves and face the prospect of living on the streets once the limited period of support they get from Red Cross expires.

It’s a pretty sad state of affairs and sad indictment on the major political parties to treat these desperate people with such disdain..

Meanwhile, bogan families on welfare burn down their council flat when they decide it’s time for an upgrade…

It’s a disgrace!!

Fayed” is not his real name.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    April 10, 2012 4:39 pm

    The politicisation of asylum seekers is a disgrace. The government sh!ts themselves about a report on them watching a plasma TV (in the lounge room they’re sharing with 20 others.

    It’s a race through the slime and scum at the bottom of the pond. Liberals may be more comfortable with slime, but the ALP looks at home with scum.
    Now you’ve got it in for ‘bogan families’

  2. TB Queensland permalink
    April 10, 2012 5:09 pm

    But don’t they get $40,000 a year more than age pensioners? Disgraceful lies!

    I’ve seen the figures on an email I received recently … and Mr Morrison says so too …

  3. April 10, 2012 9:59 pm

    I’m a disgrace…

  4. April 10, 2012 10:05 pm

    Grace is over rated!

  5. el gordo permalink
    April 10, 2012 10:24 pm

    Fayed is a survivor and with help coming his way from individual Australians, its a reasonably good way for them to settle in.

    Obviously they will be in struggle street for awhile, until they get to the mainland.

  6. el gordo permalink
    April 11, 2012 7:57 am

    Sheridan in the Oz.

    ‘HERE’S how it works. If a group of asylum-seekers comes to Indonesia and gets waved on to Australia, that is people-smuggling and the Indonesian authorities responsible are either corrupt or slack. If a group of asylum-seekers comes to Australia, and we wave them on to New Zealand, we are merely obeying international law.

    ‘Yet morally, if not legally, the two situations are more or less the same. Nothing could better illustrate the confused and unworkable nature of refugee conventions and laws than two episodes this week.’

  7. Tom R permalink
    April 11, 2012 7:57 am

    It certainly is a disgrace!

    As bad as the current policy is, it is getting better, slowly, but they are up against so much redkneck pandering like the above, it would take a truly special Government to do that.

    This isn’t that Government. They might get there in time, but not overnight.

    At least things are turning the right way at last.

    Meanwhile, help is still there, it is just a matter of finding it

  8. Tom R permalink
    April 11, 2012 8:00 am

    Nothing could better illustrate the confused and unworkable nature of the debate around immigration than the fluff and rhetoric that ltdnews put up

    Fixed it grodo 😉

  9. el gordo permalink
    April 11, 2012 8:02 am

    You’re too kind, Tom.

  10. el gordo permalink
    April 11, 2012 8:08 am

    This story is the headline in the Mail…

    ‘A family of 14 who refused to claim benefits has turned its back on Britain and flown to Australia in search of a brighter future.’

    Read more:

  11. Neil of Sydney permalink
    April 11, 2012 9:02 am

    I still think Howards Pacific solution was O.K. This stopped people coming here by boat.

    We have a quota of ~14,000 asylum seekers/year. We used to chose which of these we would take.

    Under the current system a criminal organisation (Australian Labor Party) has handed over the choice of which asylum seekers we take to a criminal organisation (People Smugglers). Sort of makes sense.

    Nothing wrong with asylum seekers but for every “Fayed” who arrives by boat means one less “Fayed” who can come from elsewhere.

    It would be interesting to know how the asylum seekers we take from various camps overseas integrate into the workforce.

    And I much prefer asylum seekers to skilled immigrants. Perhaps we could train some asylum seekers rather than import skilled workers.

  12. TB Queensland permalink
    April 11, 2012 9:28 am

    ‘A family of 14 who refused to claim benefits has turned its back on Britain and flown to Australia in search of a brighter future.’

    ‘Scuse my cynicism but the family was eligible for and recieved £617 child tax/benefits a month in the UK (according to the link) … that equates to about AU$11450 per year

    In Australia at least $164 a fortnight per child (0 -12) probably more (older children recive more – benefit tables below) … that equates to around AU$4000+ for 12 (one of the children is 18 but may be eligible up to age 20)

    The house price comparisons are a bit shonky too … I’d like to see anyone buy a five bedroom home in Brisbane for AU$155,000 … £400,000 (AU620,000 would be closer to the mark!!!) … to my knowledge most folk still rent in the UK anyway …

    Mr Jones earned about AU$65,000 with overtime in the UK in a paper mill … best of luck here … I’m not sure what his “skills” are but there is only one “paper mill” (mainly cardboard) on the outskirts of Brisbane … and a couple of cardboard recyclers in the city …

    Maybe the mines are “calling” to him?

    One has to wonder … if he works all night and sleeps most of the day … 12 kids? 😯

    (I’d have a bet on them being Micks too … 🙂 )

  13. April 11, 2012 9:40 am

    “I’d have a bet on them being Micks too “

    Don’t you just love the way that we’re all so politically correct around here…..?

  14. el gordo permalink
    April 11, 2012 9:46 am

    ‘Maybe the mines are “calling” to him?’

    That makes a lot of sense and it would give his princess a break.

  15. TB Queensland permalink
    April 11, 2012 10:48 am

    Don’t you just love the way that we’re all so politically correct around here…..?

    Said like a trew Scottish git! Och aye! 😉

  16. el gordo permalink
    April 11, 2012 5:19 pm

    The refugees heading for the land of the ‘long white cloud’ have decided to settle on a very large island instead. Imagine the political uproar if their boat had sunk in the Tasman Sea?

    ‘A group of ten Chinese asylum seekers have decided to stay and apply for asylum in Australia rather than make the hazardous journey to New Zealand from Darwin.’

    Read more:–australia-rather-than-high-seas-20120411-1wphc.html#ixzz1riJFozvO

  17. Tom R permalink
    April 11, 2012 8:30 pm

    Imagine the political uproar if their boat had sunk in the Tasman Sea?

    Yep, far better to just send em back 😉

  18. Neil of Sydney permalink
    April 11, 2012 8:57 pm

    Kudelka must be a Labor supporter. You can tell them a mile away.

    Labor supporters always try to blame their own failings on the Opposition. No matter how bad the current govt is or how hypocritical, it is always the Oppositions fault.

    Usually Abbott is mentioned but this time Kudelka gives Morrison a blast.

    I don’t I have ever seen such talk about the Opposition before by the people in govt and their supporters.

    I saw Morrison on Insiders a couple of weeks ago. He said in 2007 there were 6 people in detention and we were spending $80M/year. Not sure why only 6 people cost $80M. I guess the empty detention centers needed cleaning etc. Perhaps the 14,000 we took from overseas is where most of the $80M went. Finding them employment etc.

    It is now costing $1.2B/year. What a waste of money.

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