COMPASSION: A candelight vigil was held for refugees in the Cotton Tree park.
COMPASSION: A candelight vigil was held for refugees in the Cotton Tree park. Che Chapman

Refugee Welcome Zone push for Sunshine Coast

A FORMAL application for the region to be declared a Refugee Welcome Zone will be put to a full meeting of Sunshine Coast Council this month.

Buddies Refugee Support Group will urge the council to join 127 other local authorities that have made the declaration.

Garry Bates of Buderim who is driving the bid said the declaration was an opportunity for the region to show its humanity.

He said it was consistent with the council's social strategy of inclusiveness and would demonstrate the Sunshine Coast's desire to be a player in whatever refugee strategy Queensland takes to accept its allocation from the intake of Syrian refugees.

Refugee Welcome Zones were started by the Refugee Council of Australia in 2002, supported by the Business Council of Australia.

Would you welcome Syrian refugees to the Coast?

This poll ended on 11 February 2016.

Current Results

Yes. They are fleeing war and devastation.

13%

No. Their culture will change the Coast.

85%

Undecided. They need somewhere to go but does it have to be here?

0%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Mr Bates said: "The outcome we are aiming for is to have the mayor make the declaration during Refugee Week in June.''

On February 28, Buddies will host a Q&A-style forum at St Mary's Anglican Church at Buderim where candidates vying to unseat sitting members at the next federal election will face questions on their positions on refugee policy.

Buddies chair Fergus Fitzgerald said hard questions would be put to them.

"We will ask what they will do if elected," he said.

Candidates who will attend the February 28 meeting include Bill Gissane (Labor) Kawana, Scott Anderson (Labor) Fairfax, Ted O'Brien (LNP) Fairfax and Lucy Stanton (Labor) Wide Bay.

WHAT: Buddies Meet the Candidates

WHEN: February 28, 11am

WHERE: St Mary's Anglican Church, 24 King St, Buderim



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