Refugee services concerned about border closures

Kate Venables (ABC News/Nathan Morris)

CatholicCare Toowoomba says the refugee sector is “pushed to the limit”, as staff cuts at a major Queensland refugee service provider amid border closures create concern about support for thousands of new arrivals. Source: ABC News.

Multicultural Australia operates from Brisbane, Toowoomba, and Rockhampton, helping refugees settle in and provide support with housing, employment, and education. Its CEO Bill Gamack said with no new arrivals coming into Australia since March 20, he had been forced to make “very heartbreaking decisions” to stand down some frontline staff.

Catholic Care executive director Kate Venables said the sector was already “pushed to the limit” with her Toowoomba Refugee and Migrant Support (TRAMS) team supporting about 2,500 clients who had exited Multicultural Australia.

“When you have less staff, you have less support for clients,” she said. “We don’t want people to be in crisis, so that means we’ll have more clients. But we actually won’t have any more money.”

A spokesperson from the Department of Home Affairs said COVID-19 had posed significant challenges for the delivery of most Government programs, including those under the Humanitarian Settlement Program (HSP).


Refugee service provider cuts staff amid border closures creating uncertainty for thousands of new arrivals ( By Elly Bradfield and Nathan Morris, ABC News

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