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ABC News 24 11am News -

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(generated from captions) that's always been the way but I don't think she'll step down, no. More on the news that the Government has agreed to accept 12,000 refugees from the Syrian conflict. I'm joined by Eliza Borrello from our Canberra bureau. Good morning. We haven't had the official announcement from the Prime Minister but has this come from sources within the Party Room? Yes, Joe. We have been speaking to multiple people who were in that room and they have confirmed that the Government has agreed to take, on top of the current refugee intake of 13,750 people, the Government has agreed to take an extra 12,000 people and they will be permanent places and they will be given to Syrian refugees in persecuted minorities. On top of that the Government has also decided to give the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees an immediate funding boost of $44 million. Any word out of the Party Room on the possibility of Australia joining those air strikes against Islamic State targets inside Syria? No word yet on that but we are expecting an announcement as you've been saying from the Prime Minister very soon and we expect it will be on both of those issues. My colleague Jane Norman spoke to Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi shortly after the Coalition Party Room wrapped up about the extra 12,000 refugees. Let's listen to what he had to say. The Party Room has been advised that the Government has decided to increase the humanitarian refugee intake by 12,000, starting immediately, to assist Syria
the crisis that's happening in Syria and Iraq. The focus is going to be on women, children and families from persecuted minorities, for someone who's been an advocate for purse cute Christians in the Middle East for many, many years, this is excellent news. Essentially, they've brought forward the increase in the humanitarian intake that was scheduled for 2018, they've brought it forward to today and they're going to increase by a couple of thousand. It is good news. The Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said Australians would be proud of this response, that it is a generous response. Do you think it is that? I think it's absolutely generous but I also think it's in accordance with the sentiment that Australians are feeling at the but
moment. We want to do something but we want to make sure we're acting with our heads not just our hearts. We want to make sure we're expecting in Australia's national interest and that we're helping those who are most vulnerable and the most vulnerable people in the Middle East quite frankly are persecuted Christians, women, children and families.So Joe, that was Cory Bernardi, the Liberal Senator from SA confirming that the people the Government wants to take in this new intake will be people from persecuted minorities, women and children. He mentioned Christians there. That has been the focus of the debate here at Parliament House over the last couple of days. A number of very senior Coalition MPs have come out and made the case for accepting Christians from this crisis. Labor says that would be dangerous to screen on the basis of religion. They say there are lots of Muslims who are also fleeing this crisis very genuinely. Interestingly, Mike Baird, the NSW Premier, has this morning discussed that issue and he has said that religion should not be an issue in his opinion if people are in need. When does the PM flee out? Please going to PNG later today, isn't he? We're expecting some kind of announcement before then? That's right. I think within