Toowoomba diocese welcomes Tamworth refugee about face

Toowoomba diocese social justice coordinator, Dr Mark Copland, has welcomed an about-face by Tamworth Regional Council over an earlier decision to refuse to relocate Sudanese refugee families to the north-western NSW centre.

ABC News reports that Toowoomba's migrant support groups have welcomed a
Tamworth Regional Council agreement to a one year federal trial of the plan.

"There's great examples all around Australia, from Western Australia to Victoria, NSW, Queensland, of regional refugee resettlement working," Dr Copland told ABC News.

"One of the reasons is that a number of refugees actually didn't ever come from capital cities and so they enjoy a smaller centre where relationships can be developed, where they're known."

Catholic and Anglican church groups have helped settle more than 700 Sudanese people in Toowoomba.

St Nicholas parish, Tamworth, PP Fr Richard Gleeson had earlier described the council's decision to stop the NSW city from becoming a resettlement centre for refugees as "heartless".

Toowoomba backs Tamworth refugee rethink

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Tamworth City
Toowoomba Catholic Social Justice Commission

Tamworth priest slams "heartless" Council refugee decision (CathNews, 21/12/06)
Church leaders petition Tamworth over refugee decision (CathNews, 20/12/06)
New life for Sydney's Sudanese refugees (CathNews, 25/8/06)
Sydney bishop outraged at slaying of refugee (CathNews, 21/2/06)
Queensland diocese complains about neo-nazi intimidation of refugees (CathNews, 26/7/05)
Toowoomba bishop concerned about regional migrants' rights (CathNews, 25/8/06)

19 Jan 2007