Media Release - Department Of Immigration And Citizenship

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18th May 2009, 03:01pm - Views: 425





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MEDIA RELEASE


040.09

18 May 2009

DIAC refutes hoax email on refugee payments


The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has refuted false

claims circulating on the internet that asylum seekers on Christmas Island and

refugees permanently settling in Australia receive more in benefit payments

than Australian pensioners. 


“The figures quoted in the email bear no resemblance to income-support

payments to pensioners, or to payments to asylum seekers and refugees

settling in Australia,” DIAC spokesman Sandi Logan said today. 


“The text and figures in the email appear to have originated in Canadian

emails, websites and internet chatrooms. We suspect that the email

circulating here has been cut and pasted from these sources. 


“Asylum seekers in Australia who have not yet had their protection claims

decided have no access to Centrelink benefits.


“Asylum Seeker Assistance Scheme payments to eligible asylum seekers and

allowances paid to people in community detention on Christmas Island are the

same rate – 89 per cent of Centrelink Newstart allowance.


“In Australia, refugees granted permanent visas may gain access to benefits

on the same basis and at the same rates as other Australian permanent

residents. 


“There is no separate rate of benefit payments for refugees.”


Mr Logan said refugees received no cash payments under Australia’s

Integrated Humanitarian Settlement Strategy. 


“DIAC helps eligible refugees with English-language lessons and settling-in

assistance including basic goods to start a household, subsidies for rent and

utilities for their first four weeks in the country,” he said.


“We would strongly encourage anyone who receives an email claiming asylum

seekers or refugees are treated more favourably than Australian permanent

residents to hit the delete button and ignore these scurrilous claims.”



Media Enquiries: National Communications (02) 6264 2244

 







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