The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has welcomed Scott Morrison’s promise to fast-track visa applications from Ukrainian refugees fleeing war, along with accepting a special intake of refugees on top of the existing annual humanitarian allocation.
Attending a Ukrainian church vigil in western Sydney on Sunday, the Prime Minister said Australia stood ready to help with the “heavy lifting” in supporting those displaced by the conflict.
Ukrainians would be given preferential entry to Australia not only as refugees but also through family, skilled and student visa programs.
“After two years where our immigration intake has been low, there is quite a lot of room within those programs to take in more places, and Ukrainians will have priority in terms of the processing of those visas,” he said.
We have a moral obligation to assist where we can.” – Wendy Francis
Today ACL’s National Director for Politics, Wendy Francis, backed Prime Minister’s plans to take many more Ukrainians along with more from Afghanistan.
“With Australia’s low immigration intake over the past two years, there is room within our humanitarian programs to offer many more places. We have a moral obligation to assist where we can,” she said.
“Whilst the need is rightly uppermost in our nation’s minds to assist Ukrainians fleeing war, we must not neglect those who are desperate to flee the horrors of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. The lower than projected humanitarian intake has meant significant budget-saving. The time to use those finances to save lives is now.”
It’s notable that this call to restore our overall humanitarian intake to pre-COVID levels in the coming budget comes from the conservative political lobby group ACL, in concert with churches and other Christian organisations.
Go here to learn how you can donate to Bible Society Australia’s emergency response for Ukraine.