Locals out of loop in refugee relocation plan

LOCAL community leaders have expressed disappointment at a lack of consultation surrounding the relocation of asylum seekers to Collie.

The Collie Mail last week reported that nine families seeking asylum would be relocated to Collie later this month.

Collie Shire president Wayne Sanford said council found out about the plan through the press.

"There was no briefing to councillors before the decision to consider Collie was made," he said.

Cr Sanford said he was disappointed the Department of Immigration did not consult with the local government body from a planning perspective.

"Collie is a very inclusive and welcoming community and I am sure the community will welcome these people and make sure they are provided with a safe and positive environment and support where and when needed," he said.

Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray said he still had not been officially contacted regarding the asylum seekers.

"I am disappointed there was no consultation," he said.

Mr Murray said community feedback had mostly been good, but he had heard some nasty feedback and concerns.

Church of Christ minister Robert Drown also expressed his disappointment in the lack of community consultation.

"We need to find out about them and exercise compassion," he said.

"We don't know their story," Rev Drown said.

He said the church could work with other community groups, including the council, to integrate the refugees into the community.

"The more informed we are, the more involved we can be," he said.

"Then we can all work together as a team."

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