'Unsatisfied': Scott Morrison confronted on campaign trail over Australia's Afghan refugee intake

Omid Ahmadi told SBS News he was “unsatisfied by the answer” Mr Morrison provided after he asked the prime minister to provide more help to people from Afghanistan fleeing the Taliban.

Two men and a woman standing together

Omid Ahmadi (left) approached Prime Minister Scott Morrison asking for more help to get people from Afghanistan to Australia. Source: SBS News

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been confronted for the second time during the election campaign over Australia's intake of refugees from Afghanistan.

Omid Ahmadi approached Mr Morrison at the Western Sydney Jobs Fair in Homebush on Tuesday and asked for more help

Mr Ahmadi has been living in Australia for 16 years but still has family in Afghanistan.

Mr Morrison told him “16,500 extra are going to be taken, on top of the normal intake”.

Mr Ahmadi replied that’s “very less than other countries”.
Mr Morrison then said “at the moment we’re not filling the places”.

"We're looking to build all of those places and it's a record level, what we're doing in that area," he said.

The federal government s in the humanitarian program for arrivals from Afghanistan over the next four years, and 5,000 places for family members.

But it has had more than 180,000 applications for the humanitarian program and the Department of Home Affairs has conceded there is a significant backlog in processing the requests.

Mr Ahmadi later told SBS News he was “unsatisfied by the answer” Mr Morrison provided.

He said Australia spent more than two decades in Afghanistan and he would like the government to do more to help people from Afghanistan.
The exchange follows a tearful plea by a mother from Afghanistan to Mr Morrison earlier this month during the prime minister's visit to Eid prayers in Sydney. She asked for help to fast-track visas for her family, who are under threat from the Taliban.

Hijara Taufiq’s daughter-in-law has been stuck in Afghanistan, unable to come to Australia, and her extended family have been facing threats and physical harm from the Taliban.

“Please help us,” she asked the prime minister at the 2 May event.

“We will do everything we can,” Mr Morrison responded to her.

“We are bringing thousands and thousands of people from Afghanistan.”

The Morrison government has previously been criticised over the delay of visa processing by advocates who fear for the safety of people in limbo in Afghanistan.

2 min read
Published 10 May 2022 at 3:02pm, updated 10 May 2022 at 5:23pm
By Shuba Krishnan
Source: SBS News