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Locals urged: Back your Neighbour

Wed 5 December, 2018

Banyule locals are being urged to back their neighbours, their mates and co-workers in a new campaign aimed at supporting people seeking asylum.

The Back your Neighbour campaign seeks to stem cuts to the Australian Government’s Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) scheme. The Scheme provides eligible asylum seekers a living allowance, casework support and access to counselling while the Australian Government decides on their claim for protection.

Banyule Mayor, Cr Wayne Phillips said that this payment was vital because it helped asylum seekers transition to new lives, into jobs and to become valued members of the community.

“Asylum Seekers play an integral role in our community. They have influenced our culture and sporting traditions, and make valued contributions to society as nurses, chefs, lawyers, scientists, teachers, public servants and baristas. Not to mention they are treasured friends, neighbours and colleagues.” Mayor Phillips said. “We are richer for their contributions.”

Following an Australia Government announcement earlier this year to cut support to this scheme, a Mayoral Taskforce against SRSS cuts was formed. Banyule Council is among 22 councils across Australia to join this taskforce and petition for continued support for people seeking asylum.

On 23 June 2014, Council passed a motion to sign the Refugee Welcome Zone Declaration to reflect our ongoing commitment to support refugees and asylum seekers.

The Back your Neighbour campaign calls on all Australians to get behind the campaign and tell the Australian Government to continue to fully fund the SRSS scheme.

Go to: backyourneighbour.com.au or facebook.com/backyourneighbour to join the campaign.