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Western Australians unite to welcome refugees

The City of Fremantle and community-based refugee agencies in Perth have united with the Fremantle Greens to hold a welcome party as part of Refugee Week.

Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam said the event on Saturday, June 25th would "inject some much-needed compassion, community spirit and sense of civic duty into the refugee debate".

South Metropolitan MLC Lynn MacLaren said the Government and Opposition needs to remember that there is nothing illegal about seeking refuge.

"Asylum seekers have a right to ask for Australia's help in their time of need. They should not be treated like criminals - locked up for indefinite periods in remote areas," she said. "Offering temporary housing in Jandakot is something important we can and have contributed. This has not caused any problems - we should be using this approach more often."

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said he "would welcome asylum seekers to be housed around Fremantle while their applications are being processed - there is no reason for them to be detained in remote areas".

At the welcome party there will be table-tennis, chess and music in Kings Square from 1pm on Saturday, and people are encouraged to bring a picnic and any cuisine, games, activities, music, dance or costumes from their country of origin to share in the fun.

The event is an official "Welcome Party" being promoted by the alliance of community organisations via www.welcometoaustralia.org.au - a movement "seeking to convey a welcoming smile to those who have come across the seas in search of a helping hand".

Welcome to Fremantle is proudly organised by the Fremantle Greens in collaboration with the City of Fremantle; Coalition for Asylum Seekers, Refugees & Detainees; CASE For Refugees; Fremantle Multicultural Centre; Fremantle Oxfam Group; & the Refugee Rights Action Network. For more information, interested people can call Leonie on 0439 475 174.

Media Contact: Giovanni Torre - 0417 174 302

 

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