Friday, December 15, 2006

Shame about Tamworth - "You're not welcome, town tells refugees"

News reports this morning that Tamworth City Council has turned its back on Sudanese refugees. The home of country music will decide whom will be acceptable to the good folk of Tamworth and the manner of their coming. Hmm, has a ring about it...where I have heard similar sentiments before?

The SMH reports "At a meeting where the poll was conducted, several residents had said they did "not want the refugees coming and drinking our water supply, or taking our jobs, that sort of thing", Cr Woodley said. "I think you would have to say there was a racist element at play there."

Another councillor and local publican, Robert Schofield, agreed that racism had to "be a part of it. These are people escaping war and persecution. "I'm sickened by the lack of compassion," he said.

The Department of Immigration has recently embarked on a program of resettling refugees directly into rural and regional areas. A spokeswoman said the department had offered to fund the settlement at Tamworth over five years with the help of agencies such as Anglicare.

The Oxley Vale Anglican Church raised $10,000 to bring the families to Tamworth. Its minister, the Reverend Jon Cox, said he was deeply saddened by the lack of compassion shown by the council."

More Aussie values on show....?

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