AU and NZ will take more refugees from Syria and Iraq

Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced on Sunday that Australia would take more refugees from Syria and Iraq in regard to recent humanitarian crisis.

After Australia’s announcement, Prime Minister John Key also said on Monday morning that New Zealand would take 750 Syrian refugees over the next three years.

These announcements came from Australia and New Zealand in response to the situation that Austria and Germany had opened their borders to thousands of migrants, and Hungary warned that the number could grow to millions.

In the announcement, Mr Abbott mentioned the government would not increase the total number of asylum seekers as he had vowed “stop the boats” policy.

However, he is under pressure to increase total refugee intake as members of his own party and several state premiers have called for more to be done for refugees.

The existing number of 13,750 annual intake quota is already set to increase to 18,750 by 2019.

Senior MPs Josh Frydenberg said there was a good example to follow that Malcolm Turnbull and Julie Bishop have raised intake of Kosovar refugees in 1999. This kind of solution would see Syrian and Iraqi refugees housed in Australia, then returned home once the countries were safe.

Labor leader Bill Shorten said the government should spend an extra 100m AUD on aid for refugees as well as the Federal Opposition called for 10,000 additional places for refugees.

Immigration minister of New Zealand, Michael Woodhouse said 150 places would be offered to Syrians, and an extra 600 people from the war-torn country would be accepted.

“The government is very concerned at the humanitarian crisis now unfolding in Syria and Europe that has visibly worsened in recent times,” Mr Woodhouse said in the statement.

He added “a review of refugee quotas would be completed by mid-2016, when numbers could be increased again.”

The Immigration Minister of Australia, Peter Dutton will fly to Geneva to talk to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees on what Australia can do to assist on the migration crisis.