Hundreds of people from Tweed, Lismore, Toowoomba, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Ipswich will travel to Brisbane for a refugee and asylum seeker forum hosted by the ASRC, Amnesty International, Oxfam Australia and Mums 4 Refugees.
Hundreds of people from Tweed, Lismore, Toowoomba, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Ipswich will travel to Brisbane for a refugee and asylum seeker forum hosted by the ASRC, Amnesty International, Oxfam Australia and Mums 4 Refugees. PETER PARKS

Regional residents join refugee fight

REFUGEE advocates are hoping regional Australians will start a grassroots fight against our nation's "unfair and harsh" policy on asylum seekers.

Asylum Seeker Resource Centre CEO Kon Karapanagiotidis will be one of the main speakers at a public refugee forum in Brisbane on Saturday.

About people from Tweed, Lismore, Toowoomba, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Ipswich and other areas will attend the event hosted by the ASRC, Amnesty International, Oxfam Australia and Mums 4 Refugees.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton's decision to consider bringing white South African farmers to Australia, the attempted deportation of a Tamil family from Biloela and the continued detention of refugees on Nauru will be the key topics of the forum, Mr Karapanagiotidis told NewsRegional.

Mr Karapanagiotidis said the decision by community leaders and residents from regional Queensland and NSW to attend showed country people were determined to have a role in keeping Australia multicultural.

"A lot of people are really troubled by the cruelty, the indifference and the harsh way that we treat refugees," Mr Karapanagiotidis said.

"A lot of people are looking at what our government is doing and they are saying this doesn't reflect our values.

"People are hungry to find positive alternatives to put pressure on our leaders for a more compassionate approach and what they can do locally in their own communities."

The forum will be held at Lourdes Hill College, 86 Hawthorne Rd, Hawthorne, from 2pm on Saturday, March 17. - NewsRegional

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