UPDATE: Resettling refugees will bring govt funding: readers
While most readers have voiced opposition to resettling refugees in Gladstone, some are questioning why we're not lining up for government funds resettlement projects would bring.
StephenWellings commented: If the local racists and bigots can step aside from their prejudices for a minute, they just might be able to see the economic benefits the refugees will provide. Like it or not, the federal government is spending $700 million to relocate 12,000 Syrian refugees. Why not get a large slice of that funding, and the jobs created with it, into our local economy? Gladstone has the accommodation. The federal government has the money. We need the local jobs and economic activity that will be stimulated. Why oppose secure government contracts, just because of unfounded xenophobia?
ShellandKane Cartwright added on Facebook: Would an influx of refugees not create jobs in social services, administration, healthcare? Would these people not shop here, eat here, go to school here...if working / schooling would need training, uniforms, licences, transport? Do you think there would be no federal assistance either? That our country would be just expecting Gladstone to pull any funding out of its hat?
Others remain firmly against resettling refugees. Sheryn Woof wrote: Omg this town can't support the unemployed people who are struggling and can't make ends meet now losing everything they have worked hard for, who is going to employ these people. There are no jobs here for the locals alone and how will they pay their rent. Look after the local people first. Gladstone has had the guts sucked out of it, just let it be we don't need any more people in town live in the real world.
JOBS are scarce in Gladstone's industries at the moment, leaving some residents wondering about the logistics of welcoming a percentage of the 3500 refugees to be resettled in Queensland.
But not being able to legally work is one of the biggest obstacles faced by those who have already made it to Australia.
This week it was announced that Queensland would take 3500 Syrian refugees - nearly a third of the additional quota Australia will accept.
Ms Palaszczuk did not reveal where the refugees would be settled but in a statement released by Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd, he wrote that an uptake in Syrian Refugees in central Queensland would be a benefit for the local community and a boost to the local economy.
But, he said, jobs and housing would need to be available for it to work.
Iraq-born Gladstone woman Anwar Al Salihi, who arrived in Australia legally with her husband three years ago and settled in Gladstone, ended up sending her nephew to Sydney after he spent eight months in Gladstone sitting in a dark room by himself and not eating.
The 26-year-old arrived by boat last year and was sent to the offshore detention centres on Naru and Manus Island for 10 months before coming to Australia.
He is a computer engineer and he failed to even get work volunteering in computer shops.
"The first thing they asked him was about whether he had a passport," Anwar said.
"He didn't eat and I was afraid for him. At that age you need to work. I asked if someone could please give him a chance, but nobody listened.
"It's so sad, his parents are still at home, sick and he can't go back."
Anwar said in Iraq religious groups would approach you and ask you to join them; if you said no, that meant you were against them.