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Estimates: Question about refugees and asylum seekers on bridging visas

During Parliamentary Budget Estimates on Thursday 4 August 2022, I asked about transitioning refugees and asylum seekers on bridging visas to permanent visas so they can access support services and certainty. 

You can read the answers below or in the official Queensland Parliament Record of Proceedings (Hansard).

Mr BERKMAN: Minister, you have touched in the previous answer on the very important jurisdictional split between federal and state responsibilities. Now that we have a federal Labor government, will you be formally advocating for all refugees and asylum seekers on bridging visas to be transferred to permanent visas so that those people can enjoy all of the healthcare, education and other social support benefits that come along with that?

Ms LINARD: I am very encouraged, not to be too political, by having a federal Labor government to work closely with on these issues. I believe that we should be having a ministerial council for all ministers across the states to talk about these sorts of important issues because, of course, they are impacting across the country. I appreciate that many settlements occur in Victoria and New South Wales but we have the same sorts of issues. One of the things that always concerns me, which is why our government has funded and continued to fund ASRA, is that we know that they have not been supported.

Many of these people are living in abject poverty and they need to be intensively committed to services and, I think, understand the trauma they have come from. Not seeking to talk around the issue here, I think what I am trying to say to you is that I look forward to a lot of very direct conversations and policies that better reflect not only the welcoming and inclusive state that Queensland is but also as a country that we can be a country that has compassion for those who have come from many of these difficult circumstances. I also appreciate that those policy issues lie within the federal government’s purview. I look forward to their decisions in that regard moving forward. I cannot be more specific for that. It is not in my lane, but thank you for asking.

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