Tasmania’s community services are ready and eager to support Premier Hodgman’s efforts to bring 500 refugees to the State, according to TasCOSS CEO Kym Goodes.

“TasCOSS will meet with the Government on Thursday morning to get to work on a coordinated approach to this initiative,” Ms Goodes said.

“Tasmanians have a long and warm history of welcoming refugees, providing strong community support and assisting them to become part of what makes us a kind and increasingly diverse society,” she said.

“Past efforts welcoming Kosovars to the State in 1999 mean we have an experienced community services network trained in cross-cultural refugee settlement.

“These highly-skilled professionals would bring their knowledge and experience to this situation, training others and increasing Tasmania’s long-term capacity along the way.

“Past experience also shows that Tasmanians have a very high rate of volunteering their assistance in refugee settlement activities and no doubt both experienced and new volunteers will step up now to help.”

Ms Goodes said TasCOSS and its members were heartened to see the stand being taken by the Premier on this issue.

“Tasmanians are warm-hearted and generous: We do not turn our backs on people asking for help,” Ms Goodes said.

TasCOSS is the peak body for community services in the State and works towards its Vision of a fair, just and inclusive Tasmania.