Migrants should be welcome in regions

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

I WRITE in response to the letter from Christos Ilopoulos, regarding the sending of migrants to country regions.

I respectfully disagree with Mr Iliopoulos.

On my understanding, the best results occur when a few migrant or refugee families come in a group to a new area.

This has happened in a few towns in Queensland, and also in western Victoria.

In each case, a town of modest size (similar to Maffra) has joined together to warmly welcome the strangers and help them to assimilate — including helping them learn English and find employment.

In each case, they have been surprised and delighted by the response.

In little time, the new arrivals have become new, valued (and very grateful) members of their communities, working for their living at whatever jobs are available, helping in community projects and bringing the benefits of their own fashions, cultures and cuisine.

They have also become consumers — of food, clothing, education, housing and so-forth.

They pay taxes and help their communities develop.

Our history is full of examples of immigrants over many decades, from Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and parts of Africa who have become outstanding contributors to Australia.

They have enriched every aspect of our lives. Mr Iliopoulos and his family are examples of this.

Surely there’s nothing to stop us from doing the same thing again?

I for one would welcome new people to our local area.