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Monday, 18 August 2003
Page: 18669

To the honourable the speaker and members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled:

The petition of the undersigned shows the need for the Australian' government to address the sit-uation of the approximately 1650 East Timorese asylum seekers living in Australia.

Your petitioners are concerned for the welfare of these asylum seekers resident in Australia of East Timorese background. Many of these people have lived in our community for up to ten years, their children go to school here and in many cases were born here, they work beside us in our workplaces. They have integrated well into our society and live peacefully among us. They are family people and many of them are aged with close family ties here. Most of them have nothing to return to in East Timor—no homes, no jobs, no security and no hope of financial support from impoverished family and friends. We acknowledge the persecution and suffering they endured before leaving East Timor, and their commitment and contribution to the Australian community since coming here.

Your petitioners ask that the House request the Government to take note of community support and create a special visa category on humanitarian grounds so that the East Timorese asylum seekers may gain permanent residency in Australia.

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by Connor (from 100 citizens)