White families have been forced out of a Sydney suburb due to mass immigration, the New South Wales Labor leader has claimed.
Luke Foley said he was particularly concerned about the city’s south-west suburbs taking in a disproportionate number of refugees.
In January, it was announced that at least half of the 12,000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees coming to Australia will be settled in Fairfield City Council, a trouble-prone area with nine per cent unemployment and high levels of drug use.
Luke Foley (pictured) said he was particularly concerned about the city’s south-west suburbs taking in a disproportionate number of refugees
In January, it was announced that at least half of the 12,000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees coming to Australia will be settled in Fairfield City Council. Pictured: Muslims at prayers in Sydney
Mr Foley said that more needed to be done to help the area cope in terms of jobs and education.
He told The Daily Telegraph: ‘It’s all right to come up with a grand gesture of we’ll take 10,000 Syrian or Iraqi refugees but where’s the practical assistance?’
‘I’m saying, what about that middle ring of suburbs that have experienced, if anything, just a slow decline. In terms of employment, in terms of white flight – where many Anglo families have moved out?’
He added: ‘I’m not prepared to see the people of those suburbs denied opportunities that are taken for granted elsewhere.’
Cabramatta in west Sydney is one of the suburbs in what Mr Foley called a ‘middle ring’ of struggling areas
Thousands of asylum seekers are getting on boats to escape the conflict in Iraq and Syria (Migrants landing on the Greek island of Lesbos in October 2015 pictured)
Fairfield and the surrounding area is home to more than 200,000 people, many from non-English speaking backgrounds.
Iraqi-born residents make up more than a third of the recent arrivals, which is more than 10 times the Sydney average of three per cent.
They are even more numerous than Vietnamese immigrants who came in the 1970s and make up about a quarter of Fairfield City Council’s new residents.
The council, which last year settled 3,000 humanitarian arrivals from Syria and Iraq, has been told it will be doing so again in 2017.
Newly arrived Syrian refugees walk into Turkey in September 2014, a year before Australia announced it would be settling 12,000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees
Vietnamese refugees at Sydney airport in December 1977, in the years after the fall of Saigon
Vietnamese asylum seekers from the nation’s south arrived in Darwin in December 1977
That means it will be settling 6,000 refugees, or half of the 12,000 Syrians and Iraqis coming to Australia to escape war and Islamic State terrorism.
The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils said local governments needed more information on refugees coming to the area.
‘In the past, councils have received very limited information on incoming refugees,’ the group’s president Stephen Bali told Fairfax Media.
Fairfield has settled 75 per cent of the Syrian and Iraqi refugees moving to western Sydney.
The area, more than 30 kilometres from central Sydney, is considered to contain some of the world’s most ethnically-diverse suburbs
Fairfield City Council was home to 4,312 recently-arrived migrants from Iraq in the 2011 Census
The area already has an unemployment rate of 9.1 per cent, which is significantly higher than the national average of 5.6 per cent.
Fairfield City Council was home to 4,312 recently-arrived migrants from Iraq in the 2011 Census but their numbers are expected to grow when data from the 2016 Census is released.
There were only 204 recent arrivals from Syria but those numbers are likely to multiple.
The area, more than 30 kilometres from central Sydney, is considered to contain some of the world’s most ethnically-diverse suburbs.
It’s also had its fair share of crime.
Asylum seekers fight at a stretched processing camp on the Greek island of Lesbos in October 2015
Vietnamese refugee Phuong Ngo (pictured right) is serving a life sentence for ordering the assassination of Labor MP John Newman in 1994
Former councillor Phuong Ngo, a Vietnamese refugee, is serving a life sentence for ordering the killing of New South Wales Labor MP John Newman in 1994, which was considered to be Australia’s first political assassination.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton last year insisted the Australian government had done extensive background checks on the Syrian and Iraqi refugees coming to Australia.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott announced in September 2015 that Australia would take 12,000 humanitarian refugees from Syria and Iraq, shortly before Malcolm Turnbull took his job.
Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs Zed Seselja confirmed locations had been chosen across Australia to settle the Syrian and Iraqi refugees.
Syrian men evacuate an air strike victim in the northern city of Aleppo in August 2013. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton insists background checks have been done on Syrian refugees coming to Australia