Refugee Action Collective protest

Protesters say new visas would 'leave refugees in limbo'

LESS than a dozen refugee advocates made their voices heard outside Clive Palmer's Brisbane office yesterday.

The protestors called for Clive Palmer to reconsider his support for Temporary Protection Visas in Federal Parliament.

The Fairfax MP struck a deal with the Federal Government last month to allow refugees into regional areas.

The deal brought back TPVs and introduced Safe Haven Enterprise Visas designed to use refugees as a regional workforce.

When the agreement was announced, Mr Palmer said it would be a boon to the regions.

"These visa holders will be targeted to regions and encouraged to fill regional vacancies," he said.

"Following full employment and positive community involvement for a period of 3.5 years, the visa holder can apply for an onshore visa."

However, long time refugee advocate Margarett McPherson said they would "leave refugees in limbo."

"TPVs don't solve anything. It's a terrible situation, they live forever in limbo having to reapply every few years," she said.

"If we were to go to these people and see if you get a visa would you go and work in a regional town or city you can guarantee they'd say 'Yes please'.

About half a dozen police officers watched the same number of protesters.

Yelling slogans calling for fair treatment of asylum seekers, the group handed out flyers to the Queen St traffic.

- APN NEWSDESK



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