Thursday, May 3, 2012
Aussie families to house asylum seekers
With all the detention centres full to overflowing, and no more community housing left, the government have called on Australian families for help.
The Australian Homestay Network (AHN) was originally set up to accommodate international students but last year they approached the government with the idea of using their network to house asylum seekers. So starting next month, the government hope that 5,000 families will register with AHN, and take in refugees released from detention on bridging visas.
The Immigration Department will pay for security vetting and training for families willing to take part and will pay a weekly stipend of up to $300 to cover food and board expenses. They will need to be housed for approximately 6 weeks but this could be extended under certain circumstances.
David Bycroft, AHN executive chairman said "The Community Placement Network is an initiative designed to provide short-term accommodation in the community. He went on "The CPN is for people interested in assisting asylum seekers to live in the community on a bridging visa while awaiting a resolution of their immigration status. It is not for people interested in international student hosting."
Opposition Immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said it confirmed the government had reached the point of desperation. "Labor's decision to house adult male asylum seekers released on bridging visas into the spare rooms of Australian families is a desperate, reckless policy from a government that has lost control." He went on "When Australians expressed concern about the rising cost of living, this was not an invitation for Julia Gillard to supplement household incomes by offering to pay the rent on your spare room or granny flat for asylum seekers."
And then "The fact that Australian families are now being asked to house asylum seekers who have arrived illegally by boat, including those whose claims have been rejected, shows just how desperate Labor have become over their failed border protection policies which have seen almost 17,000 people now arrive on 301 boats."
There are hundreds of Australians in desperate need of somewhere to live but these illegals get first priority. Surely the needs of our own people should always come first.