Subject: East Timorese told to leave Darwin

East Timorese told to leave Darwin

08/11/2002 10:03:50 | ABC Radio Australia News

A Federal Parliamentarian in Australia's Northern Territory, Warren Snowdon, says 80 East Timor refugees in living in Darwin have been sent letters asking them to leave the country within 28-days.

Mr Snowdon says many of the East Timorese have been living in the Territory for more than a decade, have businesses, are valued by the community and have contributed a lot to Australia.

He says he wrote to Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock six weeks ago, asking him to use his powers to invoke a special humanitarian visa class:

"Some of them have had children in Australia. They're part of our community. They made applications for refugee status many years ago, those applications were not assessed."

"They have now been out into a position where they've been told they've got to leave the country. Now not only do I think that's unreasonable, I think it's unfair, it's unjust and frankly I think it's un-Australian."

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