- Australian Citizenship and Multicultural Minister, Alan Trudge, has become the 2nd prominent government official to back the so-called refugee visa for white SA farmers
- Trudge, a senior member of the Australian government, said it was likely that Australia would offer a number of visas to South Africans
- The controversial proposal first mooted by Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has gained support in Australia
A second even more prominent member of the Australian government has backed the controversial proposal to fast-track visa applications for white South African farmers. Citizenship and Multicultural Minister, Alan Trudge said Australia was like to offer a number of visas to South Africans.
The proposal was first mooted by Australia’s outspoken home affairs minister Peter Dutton earlier this year. Dutton caused a diplomatic row between South Africa and Australia when he said white farmers needed help from a civilised country.
Dutton’s straightforward and abrasive tone has hit a chord with Australians and the proposal has actually gained support from ordinary Australians.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Trudge attended a forum last week in Perth where members of the South African community pleaded for a special intake.
“We’re closely looking at the situation in South Africa, I suspect that we may well be able to take some in, but they’ll be each considered on their merits and according to the criteria of our humanitarian intake,” he said.
Ian Goodenough, an MP in Western Australia, suggested the Australian government should allow 10 000 South Africans into the country as a special intake. He said this compared well with the number of refugees Australia recently accepted from war-torn Syria.
While more moderate members of the Australian government have called for South Africans to apply for visas through regular channels, Trudge seemed to back the special intake model.
“We’re a very generous country to those who are in need and we don’t distinguish which country people come from, if they’re facing persecution then we will consider their application,” Trudge said.
The Australian Home Affairs Department confirmed it was keeping a close eye on developments in South Africa and would consider a resettlement plan for minority groups if and when the situation demands it.
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