|RUDDOCK SLAMS CHURCHES FOR HELPING REFUGEES|
Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock has criticised South Australian Church and welfare groups for assisting refugees granted Temporary Protection Visas (TPV), The Catholic Weekly reports.|
The visas were introduced in October last year, and entitle the holder to a three-year-stay but only limited government assistance.
Speaking on Adelaide radio, Mr Ruddock said charities were "using money that would otherwise be available to assist destitute Australians in priority".
Mr Ruddock said Church and welfare groups were "making a conscious decision to spend additional funds over and above that which would be provided to its own citizens … Why would you want to do more for these people over and above your own citizens who have no greater entitlement".
Mr Ray Hardigan, St Vincent de Paul state administrator for South Australia, confirmed the influx of TPV holders was "affecting the whole state and the whole (welfare) sector.
"What do we do?" Mr Hardigan asked. "Do we ask to see their bank accounts? Check for gold in their teeth … if you knock on our door and we've got two blankets left, we'll give you one."
|6 July 00|