|ARCHBISHOP CRITICISES TREATMENT OF 'TEMPORARY' REFUGEES|
The Chairman of the Bishops' Committee for Migrants and Refugees, Archbishop Barry Hickey, has expressed concern that the government's failure to provide adequate access to basic community services to holders of temporary protection visas's was discriminatory.
"The Federal Government awards successful on-shore refugee applicants with a Temporary Protection Visa but does very little to assist them settle into this country," said Archbishop Hickey. "How can we expect these people to integrate into society when they have no access to federal assistance in the areas of accommodation, employment, or English skills? The limited financial assistance they receive is insufficient to support them till they find employment."
"We are not asking the government to find a solution which excludes the involvement of the Catholic Church," said Archbishop Hickey. "We are seeking an opportunity to work with the government to provide these new Australian residents a fair and equal chance to find their feet."
"The Catholic Church stands ready to assist with an increased refugee program," said Archbishop Hickey.