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Saturday, 02 September 2017 15:23

Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce

Churches to provide support to refugees to prevent them being forced back to danger

Text from Media Press Conference Tuesday 29 August 2017  


The Very Reverend Peter Catt, Anglican Dean of Brisbane has called on Australians to support a network of agencies who will provide necessary shelter and support to refugees whose income support and accommodation has been removed by the Turnbull government.

Launching an appeal for funds, the Rev Peter Catt, also Chair of the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce said it would ensure people who have come to Australia seeking safety and protection, will be supported, so that they will not choose to return to places of harm through desperation. 

“The people under attack are those who were offered Sanctuary last year,” Rev Catt said. “The Sanctuary offer is still on the table should the government make moves to forcibly remove these people. 

“Our offer of Sanctuary precipitated a huge outpouring of support as the community recognised that the govt was preparing to send people, including children, to places of harm.This lead to schools, hospitals and most states and territories being declared places of sanctuary, safety and welcome. 

“We were very encouraged by this and call on the government to reverse its latest attempt to return these people, including children, to places of harm, such as Manus and Nauru, by starving them into it. 

"Yesterday, over forty men and women went into an appointment with immigration, emerging penniless, without housing and terrified of returning to harm on Manus and Nauru. Among them were pregnant women and women that came to Australia for treatment after being sexually assaulted on Nauru. 

We will not stand by and allow them to be made destitute and forced back to danger on Nauru. When this government is cruel, the community will be kind.” 

The agencies include the Asylum Seeker Centre in Sydney, the Romero Centre in Brisbane and the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Melbourne and others. 

Australians can donate to the appeal at www.refugeecouncil.org.au/take-action/let-them-stay-donate 

Further inquiries can be made to; 

The Very Rev’d Dr, Peter Catt
Chair of the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce, 0404052494 
Caz Coleman
Executive Officer, 0411876226
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