Council Won’t be Silent on Asylum Seekers


Brimbank Council is concerned that the majority of people seeking asylum in Brimbank will be further disadvantaged if the Federal Government’s planned cuts to the Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) program for asylum seekers goes ahead.

Mayor of Brimbank, Cr Margaret Giudice said this action will leave many people destitute and that Council strongly opposes any plans to cut services for asylum seekers.

“People seeking asylum are already seeking emergency assistance in increasing numbers from agencies and other charities throughout Australia, and many of these charities receive no money from the government.

“According to latest Federal Government statistics (Dec 2017), Brimbank has the highest rate of people seeking asylum (18.3%) in Victoria, so funding cuts are going to severely impact this community. I can’t stress enough that this is just not acceptable,” Cr Giudice said.

Council to Write to Federal and State Government Members

A Notice of Motion was moved by Cr Victoria Borg at this week’s Ordinary Council Meeting, requesting that Council writes to political parties and local members of Federal and State Government expressing Brimbank’s position on this issue, and the likely social impacts on our city.

“Previously we’ve strongly advocated for greater resources for agencies to deal with the humanitarian challenges of people seeking asylum in the community, acknowledging that they already live in poverty due to the limited financial support offered through the SSRS program and the inability to find work.

“These Federal Government planned cuts will take it to the level of a humanitarian crisis as requests for places to live, and money for clothes, food and medicine, will only escalate.

Reaching Out to Community

“Council will do its best to reach out to inform agencies and community groups, including the Refugee Council of Australia and the Australian Council of Social Service, of Council’s position and its support of the alliance of community organisations. And we’ll encourage this sector to consider advocating to political parties too.

“Council won’t be silent on this issue - we need the power of more than one voice to influence the outcome,” said Cr Borg.