YOUR SAY: Keep Toowoomba open to all

YOUR SAY: It isn't accurate to describe refugees fleeing war-torn areas as 'an endless stream of unskilled foreigners who cannot speak English and wait for two or more generations to integrate' (H. Quinn, The Chronicle, October 31).

Australia has received a relatively small proportion of asylum seekers and refugees compared with other countries. Persons fleeing their countries come from all walks of life including educated and professional people who value learning English and schooling for their children as priorities.

Research has shown that refugees, once they have the opportunity to establish themselves, make important economic, civil and social contributions to Australian society.

Australia's refugees and humanitarian entrants have found success in every field of endeavour, including the arts, sports, media, science, research, business, civic and community life. ( http://www.refugeecouncil.org.au).

The promotion of Toowoomba and our region as a "City of Peace and Harmony" is a carefully considered multi-faith initiative developed by community leaders from the Toowoomba Regional Council, USQ and the Pure Land Learning College and presented to and endorsed by UNESCO.

Queensland has offered to accept up 3,500 Syrian refugees. Our Darling Downs community is well placed to play a positive role. We have already welcomed people from Sudan, Congo, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka who are successfully making their homes here.

We do not accept that Mayor Antonio is out of touch with public opinion and the numerous positive responses to his public statements support this.

MARY ROSE-MILLER, Amnesty International Toowoomba Group


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