Ever since the violence, torture, and murder of white South African farmers gained mainstream media attention in Australia there has been an outpouring of public support for bringing them to Australia as refugees. There have been rallies in Brisbane and Perth attended by thousands and more horrific stories of racially motivated violence continue to come of out South Africa.
Many politicians have expressed support for a special humanitarian intake of white South African farmers such as Andrew Laming, Fraser Anning and David Leyonhjelm. Last week Western Australian Liberal backbenchers Andrew Hastie and Ian Goodenough hosted a forum in Perth which contains Australia’s largest South African community where they heard stories from these expats about what is happening to their countrymen back home. Following this Hastie and Goodenough proposed a special humanitarian intake of 10,000.
When first asked about the danger faced by white South African farmers Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said he would look at ways at fast-tracking humanitarian visas for persecuted farmers. Last week Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Minister Alan Tudge confirmed the government had received asylum application from white South African farmers. However, at the weekend the Guardian reported that Peter Dutton’s department rejected two asylum applications from white South Africans in 2015 who feared racially motivated the violence.
The left who normally champion the cause of persecuted minorities and refugees is not interested in helping white South African farmers. The Greens claimed to help them was racist and their immigration spokesperson Nick McKim said the issue was being driven by white supremacists and called Peter Dutton a fascist. The United Nation’s refugee agency the UNHCR has told the Australian Government to settle refugees on Nauru and Manus Island and claimed it has not received any queries from white South African farmers seeking protection.
So far Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop have not expressed support for a special intake of white South African farmers, instead, they have reiterated Australia has a non-discriminatory immigration policy. But now a special intake has gained another high profile supporter in new Attorney-General and Western Australian MP Christian Porter.
Porter told the Australian yesterday of the South Africans who have settled in Western Australia “They are hardworking and make a huge contribution to our local community” adding that “I have always thought that, given their contribution, the more South Africans in our local community the better” and urged South Africans in his community to contact his office about getting assistance for relatives back home.
Now that the government’s chief legal officer along with its minister responsible for our immigration program have backed giving white South African farmers special consideration the issue is now bound to come before Cabinet and the Liberal or Coalition party room when the parliament resumes for the budget in May.