Church groups in Brisbane are scrambling to support more than 100 refugees and asylum-seekers released into the community in recent weeks. Source: The Catholic Leader.
The refugees and asylum-seekers, including families with children, were released from community detention on bridging visas.
Rebecca Lim, a Catholic refugee advocate, said these people had been living in community detention in Brisbane in houses leased by the federal Government.
“People over 18 cannot study or do any training, they have no housing, they have no case-work support and they have no income support,” Ms Lim said.
“So the situation is, the community and individuals, we’re doing our best to help people find a house, provide some income support, find jobs.”
The Government released them from community detention on final departure Bridging E Visas. That applies to people who “have come to Australia for medical treatment from a regional processing country and have not returned”.
A Home Affairs Department spokesperson said the visa allowed individuals to live temporarily in the community “while they finalise their arrangements to leave Australia”.
“The Government’s policy is clear – no one who attempts illegal maritime travel to Australia will be permanently settled here,” the spokesperson said.
St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland is providing emergency relief in the form of vouchers for food, petrol and household items to assist the people released from community detention.
Catholic groups struggle to help refugees released into Brisbane community (By Peter Bugden, The Catholic Leader)