Western Sydney MRC welcomes the announcement of The Hon. Scott Morrison Prime Minister of Australia, on 22 November, to resume humanitarian arrivals under the humanitarian program. There are over 9,000 visa holders unable to travel to Australia, and the resumption of the humanitarian program for those that are fully vaccinated is an essential part of our post-covid recovery.
Families are waiting for loved ones to arrive and are relieved that the wait will soon be over. Services and communities that work with all arrivals are ready and able to do so as they have done for many years and have a richness of experience.
This has been an issue of concern for local communities and services during the COVID-19 restriction interrupting arrivals.
On 24 May 2021, Western Sydney MRC CEO Kamalle Dabboussy held formal consultations with the Minister for the Humanitarian Program. A summary can be found here. A formal submission was made advocating for community concerns and further highlighting those in need. Specific concerns were made relating to those requiring a protection visa, in immediate need of protection and travel to Australia.
Western Sydney MRC again made representations to the Minister’s office and addressed Minister Alex Hawke MP on 7 October on the same issues, following the Afghan intake. Minister Hawke indicated that arrivals would resume before the end of the year. The recent announcement has been received with excitement and relief by all concerned.
We look forward to hearing the resumption of humanitarian arrivals under the Australia Humanitarian Settlement Program.