75% say no to refugees

Mayor wants to hear opin­ion of the ma­jor­ity

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Tobi Loftus Tobi.Loftus@cnbtimes.com.au

ABOUT 75% of Cen­tral and North Bur­nett Times read­ers have said they do not agree with Syr­ian refugees be­ing al­lowed to re-set­tle in the re­gion.

In an on­line poll con­ducted by the pa­per, of the 176 par­tic­i­pants, only 45 of re­spon­ders agreed with let­ting Syr­ian refugees into the re­gion.

The re­main­ing re­spon­ders said they did not want refugees to set­tle in the area.

North Bur­nett Mayor Rachel Cham­bers said she would take the poll num­bers into con­sid­er­a­tion as part of the com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion process.

“As any politi­cian does I have to make sure I’m get­ting the true fig­ures of the ma­jor­ity and not the loud fig­ures of the mi­nor­ity,” she said.

Cr Cham­bers said the pub­lic con­ver­sa­tion about refugees in the re­gion was pre-emp­tive. “We have sent let­ters to state and fed­eral gov­ern­ments with no re­sponse thus far,” she said.

“Other coun­cils have done sim­i­lar.

“The state and fed­eral gov­ern­ments have their own ideas about where refugees should be placed.

“I read an ar­ti­cle in De­cem­ber say­ing they will be placed in Bris­bane, Toowoomba, the Gold Coast and Lo­gan only.

“We were just test­ing the wa­ter.

“There will be no for­ward progress on this un­til we hear back from the state and fed­eral gov­ern­ments.”

Cr Cham­bers said it was good for the re­gion to have the de­bate on whether to ac­cept refugees.

“Any de­bate is a good de­bate,” she said.

“It means peo­ple are think­ing about the is­sue, and that forms the ba­sis of any de­bate. I have had calls about the pos­i­tives and I’ve had calls about some ad­vice in ac­cess­ing ser­vices.

“I haven’t had any neg­a­tive calls, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t neg­a­tive thoughts out there.”

The coun­cil will in­ves­ti­gate what the com­mu­nity thinks about re-set­tling refugees.

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