Pauline wrong again

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Pauline wrong again

Postby mothra » 06 Aug 2018, 20:19

The project Pauline Hanson called a ‘disgrace’ just proved her wrong

Extremists claimed that Syrian refugees would increase crime and fear in Eltham. The opposite happened

Eltham, on Melbourne’s north-east fringe, is a quiet hamlet that retains the feel of a country town despite being under an hour’s drive from the CBD.

Eltham’s sleepy profile made it all the more jarring when, two years ago, it became “ground zero” for an effort by extremists – from outside the area, including some from interstate – to create fear and havoc around the suburb’s welcome of a small number of Syrian and Iraqi new arrivals, part of the intake of 12,000 extra refugees announced by the Abbott government as Australia’s response to the humanitarian disaster in that part of the world.

Flag-waving members of outlandishly named groups such as the United Patriots Front, True Blue Crew, Reclaim Australia, and the Soldiers of Odin – many of them hiding their identities behind bandanas and sunglasses, hoodies pulled down low over their heads – gathering together in an Eltham park surrounded by a massive security presence, including mounted and riot police.

Their protest – based on racism, misinformation and fantasy – was ugly, threatening and hostile.

And for what?

Because St Vincent’s Health Australia had offered 60 newly renovated and empty units on the grounds of its Eltham aged care village – situated well apart from any other accommodation on the 17 acre site – to be used temporarily by the refugees to assist in their resettlement in Australia.

Even the newly minted senator Pauline Hanson got in on the act, calling our plans “an absolute disgrace.”

Two years down the track, as what became known as the Eltham Project draws to a close, the dire predictions by the extremists – everything from ushering in a local crime wave, to creating an environment of fear among the village’s elderly residents – have proven unfounded.

Instead, what has occurred has been a wonderful exercise in cohesion and respect: a community’s generous embrace of the refugees, who have been eager to put down roots in their new environment.

St Vincent’s Health’s decision to open up its aged care village came from the knowledge that housing would be a major issue. In a city already beset by housing affordability issues, the new arrivals would be very vulnerable in the competitive private rental market.

We hoped that in our accommodation – and with settlement support from CatholicCare – the refugees would be able to acclimatise to their new home and build up their community links and rental history, so they would be better able to move into the private market when the time was right.

And I’m extremely pleased to report that’s what has occurred.

Over the last two years, 61 refugees (54 adults, seven children) were housed at Eltham and successfully put roots down in their new homeland, without incident.

At the time of writing, all but four have successfully moved into private rental and they are on track to do so in the weeks ahead. Another 14 will stay at Eltham because, as the site reverts back to providing housing for older people, all qualify given they are over 55.

Many also now have jobs. Others are busy studying English so they can become job-ready.

The people we housed at Eltham were salespeople, teachers, photographers, medical assistants, pharmacists, accountants and engineers.

And you know what? Contrary to the extremists’ fear-mongering, over the duration of the project, crime in the local area actually went down … dramatically.

The number of recorded offences in the Eltham area dropped by more than 44% between 2016 and 2018.

But what made the Eltham Project truly successful was the outpouring of generosity, understanding and welcome from the local community.

When the extremists rallied – at numbers barely reaching three figures – and were supported vocally by Hanson, the people of Eltham responded with a peaceful counter protest, numbering in the thousands of genuine locals.

I keep coming back to the story of the young refugee who arrived at Eltham pregnant. Such was the friendship she formed with her CatholicCare volunteer support, that she was invited to attend the child’s birth. They maintain an ongoing close bond that is wonderful to see.

Stories like that abound at Eltham.

Across the suburb, people – either in church and community groups or as individuals – rejected the politics of division and stood up to lend either a hand, their expertise, or their money to help make the project a success.

It was also terrific to see support across the political spectrum with full-throated backing from local representatives, Labor’s Vicki Ward and Jenny Macklin, and the Liberals’ Mary Wooldridge, along with Nillumbik shire council.

Hanson said about the Eltham Project in 2016: “This is wrong, because they will get their foot in the door in this aged care facility in Victoria, where else will it happen around the country?”

Given the wonderful example of community spirit we’ve seen at Eltham, one can only hope Hanson’s fears come to fruition.


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/03/the-project-pauline-hanson-called-a-disgrace-just-proved-her-wrong
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Re: Pauline wrong again

Postby johnsmith » 06 Aug 2018, 20:34

you know what'll happen Mothra, in 10 yrs time idiots like ryder, moronic and others of similar ilk will find someone else to vilify, and claim that they're not racist, they always supported refugees from syria because they work hard and tried to assimilate. :roll :roll :roll
FD.
I hope that bitch who was running their brothels for them gets raped with a cactus.
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Re: Pauline wrong again

Postby mothra » 06 Aug 2018, 20:38

johnsmith wrote:you know what'll happen Mothra, in 10 yrs time idiots like ryder, moronic and others of similar ilk will find someone else to vilify, and claim that they're not racist, they always supported refugees from syria because they work hard and tried to assimilate. :roll :roll :roll


Of course. And no matter how many times you point it out to them, they just can't see it.
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