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Coast preparing to support arriving Syrian refugees

IN NEED: A girl carries cartons of soup as Syrian refugees queue for food as they rest beside the highway on their way to the border between Turkey and Greece.
IN NEED: A girl carries cartons of soup as Syrian refugees queue for food as they rest beside the highway on their way to the border between Turkey and Greece. BULENT KILIC

SUNSHINE Coast humanitarians have committed to set up a support network for Syrian refugee families to be settled in Australia after a strong show of community support this week.

Just how many of the 12,000 Australia has agreed to take will come to Queensland is yet to be determined.

Social Services Minister Christian Porter said yesterday that the Federal Government was working with state and territory leaders, the Australian Local Government Association and community organisations to discuss just how the effort will be distributed nationally.

"Details of numbers and settlement locations are still to be determined,'' Mr Porter said.

"In determining where humanitarian entrants might be referred for settlement services, the Department considers a wide range of factors including the size and composition of family groups, the availability of suitable and affordable accommodation, the existence of any links (family or friends), whether other refugee or migrant communities are in that location, the availability of access to mainstream services (including Centrelink and Medicare)."

WE SAY: Refugee support shows compassion without boundaries

Late Tuesday afternoon despite thunder, lightning and heavy rain a group of about 60 people gathered at a Buderim meeting aimed at setting up a support network for Syrian refugee families who eventually settle on the Sunshine Coast.

Spokesman John Salter said the meeting drew together people concerned about the plight of people escaping violence in the Middle East.

Importantly it also drew those with experience in family crisis management and trauma.

A committee will be formed in the next fortnight.

It will look to affiliate with the Brisbane-based Multicultural Development Association, one of several agencies the Federal Government is likely to use to feed the 12,000 Syrian refugees into the community.

Mr Salter said Father Joe Duffy of the Stella Maris Catholic parish had indicated his congregation's willingness to be involved as had other church organisations.

Topics:  asylum seekers humanitarian refugee syrian refugees


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