Establishing the Facts on Refugee Funding
Friday, 12 July 2019
A group of senior officials from the Department of Home Affairs will arrive in Toowoomba next week to help establish the facts around refugee funding and allocations in the Toowoomba Region.
Federal Member for Groom John McVeigh said there had been ongoing confusion around the issue of refugee funding in our community and that it was time to put an end to rumour mongering and unnecessary angst.
“I have been trying to work with Toowoomba’s refugee support agencies since last year to establish the facts about refugee support in our community and to ensure an appropriate level of funding support. It has however been difficult in some cases to get those facts and figures,” Dr McVeigh said.
“I therefore met with the new Minister for Immigration and Migrant Services David Coleman during the first sitting of the 46th Parliament in Canberra last week and he agreed to send a high level Departmental delegation to Toowoomba next week to get to the bottom of the matter once and for all.
“We need to establish exactly how much funding is being allocated specifically to Toowoomba by the large federally funded support agencies and need clarity for all on the allocation of refugees to our region,” he said.
Dr McVeigh said the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Home Affairs, Refugee, Humanitarian and Settlement Branch will lead the delegation of senior officials who will meet with local support agencies and representatives of the Toowoomba Regional Council.
“Toowoomba is very proudly a Refugee Welcome Zone and we are certainly doing great job in supporting refugees coming to our community, however we need to make sure we’ve got the balance right, ” Dr McVeigh said.
“Above all, it is absolutely vital that government funding towards refugees is properly allocated and used at a grassroots level to ensure new arrivals in our community are getting the full breadth of support services.”
Dr McVeigh said he was pleased to work successfully with local organisation Catholic Care, which runs the Toowoomba Refugee and Migrant Support (TRAMS) service, earlier this year to secure an additional $400,000 for its service delivery.
“I’m ready willing and able to work with all refugee support agencies but we all must work together in an open and transparent way. Next week we will make sure all the facts are on the table so we can argue the case for more funding or additional support if required.”