Response to Syrian Humanitarian Crisis

Media Release – 28 October 2015

Since announcing Australia will resettle an additional 12,000 refugees who are fleeing the conflict in Syria, the Government has received scores of offers of accommodation, food, employment, training, financial assistance, education and other forms of support.

“The extraordinary response says a lot about our nation and its generosity of spirit,” Member for Menzies, Kevin Andrews said.

“Australians have big hearts and deep pockets. Offers of help of every conceivable type have come from all over Australia.  Here in Victoria, for example, a businessman has offered to accommodate more than one hundred refugees in a resort,” Mr Andrews said.

Settling new arrivals into accommodation is a normal part of the settlement process. There is sufficient housing to meet this need, so the Government is not considering accommodating new arrivals in private households or facilities.

The Government is well-equipped to manage the settlement of the new arrivals through the existing humanitarian settlement programme.

“Housing and other support services will primarily be managed through strong relationships with service providers under the existing Humanitarian Settlement Services programme and the Government hopes to welcome the first arrivals before the end of the year.”

People who come to Australia as part of the intake will be settled in both metropolitan and regional areas. The Government is in the process of determining exactly where, and discussions are continuing between Commonwealth, state and territory and local governments.

In determining where humanitarian entrants might settle, the Department of Social Services considers a wide range of factors including links to family or friends and the availability of appropriate support services.

While the Government does not need private housing to support the resettlement process, many of the other generous offers may contribute to the process in due course.

“The Government has launched a web portal to provide information about the resettlement process and how the people of Menzies can help.”

The website includes contacts for service providers in local areas, and can be found at https://www.dss.gov.au/syrian-iraqi-humanitarian-crisis