Macquarie groups call for more action for Afghanis

Online forum. Centre is Macquaire MP Susan Templeman.
Online forum. Centre is Macquaire MP Susan Templeman.

A number of Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury-based groups recently joined an online forum with Macquarie MP Susan Templeman to discuss the plight of Afghani people seeking safety following the Taliban sieze of power.

The meeting, convened by the Sydney Alliance, was addressed by Afghani Hazara humanitarian refugee Esmatullah Noori.

Speaking from his own experiences - he was forced to flee Afghanistan in 2012 for a new life in Australia - Mr Noori emphasised his fears for the safety of his mother and cousin, hearing daily reports of serious violence, murders and repression of rights.

Speaking for Springwood Anglicans, Jozika Crncec relayed her involvement with a community support group that had assisted an Afghani family to settle in Springwood.

She said that the group expected that the young family may decide to relocate to another area where there are more people from their own community, however, they had been made to feel most welcome in Springwood.

Michael Want from Hawkesbury Vinnies spoke about the need for compassion.

"All Afghanis seek from Australians is compassion, recognition and acceptance," he said.

The meeting also included representatives from the Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group, Catholic and Uniting churches, community groups and individuals with links to Afghanistan.

The group made four demands, including calling for permanent protection to refugees already in Australia, facilitating flights into and out of Kabul to bring more people out, matching Canada's additional intake of 20,000 refugees from Afghanistan, and providing family reunification pathways.

Ms Templeman tolk the group she would take the demands up with her Federal ALP colleagues.