FECCA calls for compassionate grounds to be considered in case of Tamil family’s visa bid

30 August 2019

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) has called on Immigration Minister David Coleman to consider whether there are grounds to personally intervene and stop the deportation of a Tamil couple and their two Australian-born children to Sri Lanka.

Priya and Nadesalingam fled Sri Lanka’s civil war in 2012 and 2013 respectively, eventually securing a temporary bridging visa and settling in the Queensland town of Biloela.

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) has called on Immigration Minister David Coleman to consider whether there are grounds to personally intervene and stop the deportation of a Tamil couple and their two Australian-born children to Sri Lanka.

Priya and Nadesalingam fled Sri Lanka’s civil war in 2012 and 2013 respectively, eventually securing a temporary bridging visa and settling in the Queensland town of Biloela.

Since then they have had two children in Australia and were fully integrated into the Biloela community until they were transferred to a Melbourne detention centre when their bridging visa expired in March 2018. Now, the family is being held in Darwin awaiting the outcome of a last-minute court hearing relating to their case.

The family believe they would face persecution in Sri Lanka, and hold grave concerns for the safety of their young children if they are deported.

FECCA Chairperson Ms Mary Patetsos has asked the Minister to consider whether this case in particular warrants intervention on compassionate grounds.

“This is a family that fled civil war and persecution and have made Australia their home.

“They have been welcomed with open arms by their regional Queensland community and are productive, active members of that community.

“Australia is the only home this family’s two daughters know, and if they are deported along with their parents, they may be put in danger.

“As Australians we ask that Minister Coleman fully consider the option to exercise discretion in this case and whether it warrants intervention on compassionate grounds.”
FECCA is the peak, national body representing Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. FECCA’s role is to advocate and promote issues on behalf of its constituency to government, business and the broader community.

Contact: 0434 307 012 / media@fecca.org.au

New report shows economic benefit of improving social inclusion

29 August 2019

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) welcomes the release of a new report which demonstrates that improving social inclusion could generate a $12.7 billion boost annually to the Australian economy.

The Deloitte Access Economics report, titled The Economic Benefits of Improving Social Inclusion, quantifies how greater social inclusion could lead to better employment and health outcomes, increased workplace productivity, and reduced the cost of social services.

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) welcomes the release of a new report which demonstrates that improving social inclusion could generate a $12.7 billion boost annually to the Australian economy.

The Deloitte Access Economics report, titled The Economic Benefits of Improving Social Inclusion, quantifies how greater social inclusion could lead to better employment and health outcomes, increased workplace productivity, and reduced the cost of social services.

Specifically, the report found that greater social inclusion means people are less likely to
experience discrimination, increasing their capacity to seek employment or gain longer working hours and delivering economic and social benefits worth $1.2 billion a year.

The report also found that the impact of social inclusion in improving health outcomes for migrant communities is estimated at $6.5 billion a year.

FECCA Chairperson Ms Mary Patetsos welcomed the Deloitte report.

“It is of course well known that first generation migrants to Australia have found great success, particularly in business, and have contributed substantially to the Australian economy over many decades,” she said.

“What this report shows us is that by improving social inclusion in Australia we can unlock even more productivity from our migrant communities.

“By fighting discrimination in our workplaces we can help those from diverse backgrounds take on greater responsibility and work more hours, and by creating a more inclusive society more generally we can slash health costs in our communities by billions of dollars each year.

“Combating racism and fostering greater acceptance and understanding of those from diverse backgrounds is not only a more imperative, it’s also an economic one, and FECCA encourages Governments and employers to use these findings as motivation for improving social inclusion in Australian workplaces and institutions.”

FECCA is the peak, national body representing Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. FECCA’s role is to advocate and promote issues on behalf of its constituency to government, business and the broader community.

Contact: 0434 307 012 / media@fecca.org.au

Hard work of disability advocates rewarded with VISA policy changes

8 August 2019

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) welcomes the Federal Government’s decision to make changes to the way permanent residency visa applications are assessed for migrants with permanent medical conditions or disabilities.

FECCA understands that part of these changes will include the threshold for an acceptable perceived economic cost of care for applicants with permanent medical conditions or disabilities has been increased from $40,000 to $49,000.

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) welcomes the Federal Government’s decision to make changes to the way permanent residency visa applications are assessed for migrants with permanent medical conditions or disabilities.

FECCA understands that part of these changes includes the threshold for an acceptable perceived economic cost of care for applicants with permanent medical conditions or disabilities has been increased from $40,000 to $49,000.

The Government will now also only calculate the care cost over a ten-year period, rather than the lifetime of the applicant as was previously the case, meaning many more people with permanent medical conditions or disabilities will potentially fall below the new threshold.

FECCA Chairperson Ms Mary Patetsos said that FECCA and the National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA) have been strong advocates for reform in the area.

“NEDA has been advocating hard for changes to the strict visa application requirements for migrants living with permanent medical conditions or disabilities for many years,” she said.

“The strict rules around hypothetical cost of care has meant many families who have wanted to work hard and contribute to Australian society have faced deportation because of the medical circumstances of one family member.

“In each of these cases, NEDA and FECCA have fought tirelessly for the affected families, and these changes are a testament to the work both organisations have done for our communities. ”

FECCA is the peak, national body representing Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. FECCA’s role is to advocate and promote issues on behalf of its constituency to government, business and the broader community.

Contact: 0434 307 012 / media@fecca.org.au