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Monday, 7 November 2016
Page: 2911

Ms MACKLIN (Jagajaga) (13:58): On the weekend we saw a powerful demonstration of love and compassion by the residents of Eltham in my electorate. Members of the group Welcome to Eltham peacefully showed their support for the resettlement of around 120 families from Syria, fleeing war and persecution. Locals tied handmade painted butterflies inspired by the native Eltham Copper Butterflies on trees around central Eltham.

I certainly join with the community in supporting the plan by St Vincent's Health and CatholicCare to help settle and support these Syrian refugees on the site of St Vincent's Care Services in Eltham Village. The conflict in Syria has claimed so many lives and more than 11 million people have been forced from their homes. Australia does have an obligation to do our part to resettle refugees displaced by the conflict in Syria. The refugees will be provided short- to medium-term rental accommodation in 60 newly renovated units on site. The accommodation to be used by the refugees was empty and unused and it had fallen into disrepair. No aged care residents will be displaced by this project. This is a powerful opportunity for our community to come together to improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in the world, who will be our newest Australians.

The SPEAKER: It being 2 pm, in accordance with standing order 43 the time for members' statements has concluded.