Orange should open its arms to encouraging refugees from war-torn Afghanistan to move to the Central West, according to an Orange councillor.
Cr Stephen Nugent will ask council's next meeting on Tuesday night to support people from Afghanistan who have moved to Australia.
He said council had adopted a policy of supporting refugees in 2019 and now was the time to offer that support.
Orange [has] seen the enormous contributions and positive economic impactCr Stephen Nugent
His notice of motion seeks council to acknowledge the contribution refugees and migrants have made to Orange.
Cr Nugent is asking council to offer support to any Australians with an Afghan background who were already living in Orange.
"In May 2019, Orange became a Welcome Refugee Zone, committing to welcoming refugees into the community, upholding the human rights of refugees, demonstrating compassion for refugees and enhancing cultural and religious diversity in the community," he said.
He said Orange should "welcome Afghan refugees to settle in our local government area in accordance with our status as a Welcome Refugee Zone."
Cr Nugent will also ask council to call on the federal government to "urgently review the current intake of Afghan refugees to Australia."
He said the government should increase the intake above the current level in its humanitarian program.
"Regional communities across Australia including Orange, have seen the enormous contributions and positive economic impact that migrants and refugees make to their new communities," he said.
"For economic, social and humanitarian reasons, and to avoid the risk of people-smuggling networks being reactivated in the Middle East and Asia, Australia should expand our refugee program at this time."
Cr Nugent said Australia had committed to accepting 3000 people from Afghanistan but "reports are" 12,000 people had applied to come here.
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