Refugee Council Gets $50K in Support
2 June 2014 at 5:02 pm
Supporters of the Not for Profit peak body Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) have responded to the Federal Government’s cut to the peak body’s core funding – donating $50,000 in two days to its emergency funding appeal.
RCOA chief executive officer Paul Power said the organisation had launched an emergency appeal on May 30, after revealing that the Immigration Minister had removed the $140,000 in core funding his Government had allocated two weeks earlier in the 2014 Federal Budget.
"The response over the past 48 hours has been very encouraging, demonstrating that many Australians are not prepared to sit by idly while the Government tries to silence a community voice for humane and common-sense policies for refugees and asylum seekers," Power said.
"We have been inundated with phone calls, emails and online donations from people who are determined to ensure that our voice becomes even stronger.
"Before we were informed of the removal of our core funding, we were facing a $60,000 shortfall in our budget for the coming financial year. With the Minister's decision to take away the $140,000 in funding, that shortfall suddenly became $200,000.
"I am pleased that we have already managed to raise a quarter of the funds we need but I am well aware that we have a long way to go before we reach our goal."
Power said that he was still astounded by Minister Scott Morrison's decision to remove funding that was in the Immigration Department budget that he got through Federal Cabinet just a few weeks earlier.
"Mr Morrison's suggestion that he was not aware that his Department was funding RCOA is difficult to accept," Power said.
"Our core funding has been clearly outlined in the Immigration Department's budget each year since Mr Morrison became Shadow Minister for Immigration in 2009. It has been reported on each year for the past five years in the Immigration Department's annual report.
"It was also a clear line item in the Immigration Portfolio Budget Statement released by Mr Morrison as Minister on the night of the 2014 Federal Budget.
"The only conclusion one can draw is that either Mr Morrison is being disingenuous in claiming he wasn't aware of the funding or he has little comprehension of what is happening in the portfolio for which he has responsibility."
To support RCOA's work, visit www.refugeecouncil.org.au/donate