News

Mayor says Southern Downs unlikely to rehome refugees

Refugees from Syria arrive at the coast of Mytilini, Lesvos island, on a dinghy after crossing from Turkey, on September 10, 2015. Some 3,000 refugees disembark daily at the coasts of the island, coming from the Turkish coastline.
Refugees from Syria arrive at the coast of Mytilini, Lesvos island, on a dinghy after crossing from Turkey, on September 10, 2015. Some 3,000 refugees disembark daily at the coasts of the island, coming from the Turkish coastline. ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU

WESTERN Downs Mayor Ray Brown has welcomed 1500 Syrian refugees with open arms.

Cr Brown vowed to help resettle the refugees in the western region, regardless of how it might affect his political career. In an informal online poll, 77% of Western Downs residents voted against the idea.

But the mayor said it was about the future of displaced Syrian families.

Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio has also rolled out the welcome mat.

Residents of the Southern Downs are now asking whether our region will follow suit.

OPINION: Credit to Westen Downs Mayor for brave decision on refugees

Southern Downs Regional Council Mayor Peter Blundell said probably not.

"Council have not considered the issue in any way," he said.

"We would need to consult with community service organisations and welfare organisations to ensure that we have the capacity to accommodate people from a culturally diverse background who have had traumatic experiences in the past.

"Rather than quickly putting the Southern Downs region forward as a destination capable of accommodating refugees, Southern Downs Regional Council would prefer to undertake the necessary planning and better understand the needs of these disadvantaged and traumatised people."

After a week of investigations into the logistical constraints of his own region, Cr Brown said the Western Downs had, so far, ticked all the boxes.

He said the region, including Chinchilla, Miles, Tara and Wandoan, could all receive asylum seekers. "There are about 500 good quality rentals sprinkled across the region," he said.

Topics:  refugees, southern downs regional council, western downs




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Coal drill to start next week near Warwick

DRILLING ON THE WAY: Coal test drilling will be done on three properties in the Goomburra Valley next week.

APEC to meet with landholders ahead of coal drilling

Sweat it out to raise money for Lachlan

LEND A HAND: Boot Camp for Local Champ will raise funds for Lachlan and his mother Tanya.

Help out this local champ by getting fit.

Latest deals and offers

Shark Hunter warns of Attack

Shark hunter Joel merchant hooks a Tiger shark.

Joel Merchant says more sharks on the way as temperature drops.

Beyonce is better than Beethoven according to your dog

Sony research shows that dogs prefer Top 40 over classical.

Research commissioned by Sony shows that dogs like Top 40 more than classical.

Kevin Walters has done his homework on Moylan

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - MAY 29:  Coach Kevin Walters during a Queensland Maroons State of Origin training session on May 29, 2016 in Gold Coast, Australia.  (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Qld Couch Kevin Walters is aware of NSW fullback.

Own Sunshine Coast property? You’re about to make money

UP AND UP: Property owners are likely to win from rent and price increases but tenants and first home buyers might not be so happy. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

Good new for property owners, not so good for buyers and tenants.

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked