In response to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton MP

by Esther Lozano - Friday, 20 May 2016

The Ethnic Communities’ Council of NSW (ECCNSW), as the state peak body representing communities from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, refers to comments made by the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton MP. He recently said that unemployment would rise if Australia dramatically increases its refugee intake and suggesting that refugees were illiterate and innumerate and would take Australian jobs.
ECCNSW Chairperson Peter Doukas said, “These comments are unhelpful, in this very important debate during an election year. We look forward to considering the policies of all parties, paying particular attention to the fact that we are dealing with people, families, and most importantly, children.”
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, since World War II, Australia has welcomed over 750,000 people from many different countries in response to changing global resettlement and humanitarian needs. 
As an example, Vietnamese refugees who arrived during the 1970’s and 1980’s brought with them myriad business and cultural knowledge and skills, which have developed into vital trade links with much of South-East Asia, undoubtedly boosting our economy and improving our wealth.
The ABS data shows that humanitarian migrants or refugees, while only making up 4% of the migrant population at 31,728 people, reported a higher proportion of income from their unincorporated businesses compared to skilled and family migrants.
Mr. Doukas continued by saying: “Australia has been built on immigration, and we look forward to a more honest and open discourse about the value that our pluralistic society brings us as a whole.”
Watch Peter Doukas statement on SBS World News in this video