Pauline Hanson is angry, speaks out for aged care facilities

A community in Melbourne’s northeast is divided over plans to move refugees into empty rooms at an aged care facility,

A community in Melbourne’s northeast is divided over plans to move refugees into empty rooms at an aged care facility, and One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson something to say about it, too.

Some community members of the Melbourne suburb of Eltham organised a protest over the weekend, and the message was clear: “locals come first”.

The residents up in arms are furious over decision to allow over 100 Syrian refugees to move into empty rooms of an aged-care facility.

It’s not known when refugees will arrive to the Melbourne suburb of Eltham, but the proposal to move them into the St Vincent’s Health Australia (SVHA) facility has already caused a massive rift in the town.

Groups against the idea argue the facilities should be prioritised for local residents, while those in support have put together a book of welcome messages from the community.

“Our elderly care system is for our elderly care people, not for Muslims,” said one protester.

“Eltham’s major care centre is not for refugees,” echoed another.

Protester Sandi Pike’s 87-year-old mother lives at the aged care facility and is worried about the prospect of Syrian refugees moving in.

“No-one seems to care about the residents and that’s what it’s all about,” Ms Pike told 7News.

However, just a few suburbs away, another very different gathering was taking place.

“We had about 110 people here. We formed the shape of the word ‘welcome’,” said Gillian Essex of the Welcome to Eltham Group.

“There is a very large group of people, including some people who are living in that [aged care] facility, who are really looking forward to these people coming,” Essex said.

Nina Kelabora from the Welcome to Eltham Group said: “We have put together a book of welcome messages from the community. We have had close to 700 welcome message sent into that book in six weeks.”

While most of the buildings at the aged care centre are occupied, there are a number of vacant units and those could be used to house more than 100 Syrian refugees.

Despite this, protester Gary Hughes said: “They can build a unit for them somewhere else, not an aged care facility.”

One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson seems to echo these thoughts in a video she posted to Facebook, where she expresses her anger at the decision of moving refugees into the aged care facility.

She says, “This is wrong, because they will get their foot in the door in this aged care facility in Victoria…Where else will it happen around the country? And I’m angry about this because I care about our aged people. They have a right to be in a place where they feel safe and looked after.”

She’s asked for the voices of the community to let her know what they think, so she can go knocking on the doors of Peter Dutton and the Health Minister.

What do you think about this situation?

  1. As a nurse in Aged Care I could not agree more, these people do not belong with our most vulnerable in society, our elderly.
    Most of these residents have limited or no ambulation abilities and are defenceless and highly vulnerable. These residents pay a fortune to be cared for and kept safe in these facilities, it’s just not on.
    I wonder if these people welcoming them would be so welcoming if it was their parents/grandparents being put at risk in this way.

    • Mary.  

      I have a sister-in-law in care and she would be most anxious about her safety if this were to evenuate.

    • Bella  

      Not even sure why this conversation is happening, alarming to say the least. Consultation Australia wide is needed not just state by state.
      I believe 50 percent or more of Australians are against resettlement of illegal immigrants to Australia based on huge cultural differences. Housing them in our elderly facilities is not the answer. These facilities are for our elderly who pay dearly to be cared for. Mr Dutton this is a very fine line you tread, you do not have my support. Go Pauline

    • Pamela  

      Pauline is absolutely right with this one!

    • Are they going to pay the same rate as Australian seniors or is the Australian taxpayers paying for them. They are treating refugees better than the aboriganies for God’s sake look after the Australians that are homeless before refugees

    • Joustabout  

      There are not enough aged care facilitrs for our own. The cost of aged care for residents is astronomical. If the government is paying, are they preventing prospect

    • Joe  

      Did anyone stop to think why these places are empty to begin with? Shame on you for having no sympathy for people who are in need of help simply because they’re not australian. I bet you if the tables were turned “these” same people would welcome you in their own homes.

      • Sandy Balfour  

        Well said Joe – I agree totally.

  2. Patricia Hamilton  

    I am under the impression that there is a “waiting list” for our older relatives to go into Aged Care …if so why would there be vacancies for Syrian Refugees to be housed in vacant facilities???? I dont understand….

    • Jo  

      Because they only need accommodation, not care. There is a shortage of nurses to care for the elderly, not of units to pit them in.

      • Jenny keyter  

        Accomodation is costly for the elderly In the hundred of thousands in a bond and also daily fees
        Not on – these nursing homes are exactly that – the home of the elderly resident – to feel safe in and cared for.
        I can’t understand how places are free also as a very long waiting list – only rooms becoming vacant when some poor soul dies.

  3. Lorraine Bailey  

    The welcome committee should house these people perhaps. If we can house refugees at no cost to themselves why can’t we do the same for our elderly. Thanks Pauline for standing up.

    • Maria  

      Good point. After paying taxes all their lives, most are paying large amounts of money for a room and care. Others pay with all their pensions. The government can’t pay for the elderly and then they can’t afford to pay for free care for the refugees. Nothing to do with racial descrimination, just financially wrong!!

  4. judy  

    This government couldn’t give a f–k about our aged or any real assie if they did we wouldn’t be in this situation. Give them plenty pauline. Keep them honest. Judy

    • Ross smith  

      You should address your anger at St Vincent’s . It’s their decision and not the government. No one forces them to be in aged care, if they want to be in migrant care then they should exit aged care.

    • Our aged residents are in Aged Care Facilities are they require different care than younger healthy refugees. It would not be a nice quiet place for our aged to reside if invaded by 100 noisey, active and most likely demanding refugees. The diet is different to start with placing pressure on kitchen staff. The lifestyle is totally different. I am not racist but concerned by the fact that you cant tell by looking at a person what their intentions are whereas we do know why the aged are living there. The future of our country looks bleek unless people start listening to people like Pauline Hanson. Is it better to be safe than sorry . Yes i know most refugees would be in genuine need but there will be the rotten apple in every barrell just like the rotten apples in our foster caring system who were approved.

      • michael mazur  

        We need to be racist or we’ll be erased altogether, because they are racist towards us as white people as we now see in Europe with the daily violence and intimidation directed at the people of Europe.

    • Garry Ward  

      You got it right Judy. I guess the oldies will need to foget bacon at breakfast time. Maybe it will be good exercise for the old ones, getting done a €_%se up banging their head on the floor till it hurts.
      Orange jump suits for all, yeehaaa

  5. Gail  

    I’m all for humanitarian relief for refugees in our country…..similar to what is happening in Canada where families take in refugees and get some kind of subsidy for caring for and assimilating the refugees BUT please do not house them all together in an aged care facility….well not 100 of them all in one place.
    Disperse them throughout the country.and communities…..let them experience our way of life first hand and start the assimilation process straight away. 😀🇦🇺

    • What part of “empty rooms” do you not understand? The usual fear-mongering by Pauline Hanson playing straight into the prejudices of uninformed people. Perhaps it would be good for older people to have contact with younger people and to hear their stories. A lot of aged care residents have been through wars, depressions, fires, floods and illness, and should be able to empathize with the refugees. I have taught English to refugees, and their courage and optimism left me feeling humble and grateful to have not had to experience the horrors that they have.

      • Roy Bridges  

        Aged care is not a place , for this they have rights two ,before you take people you need to work out all these issues not after the event thats why you end up with problems like this what a disgrace !
        Very poor planning , have these people now we ask were will they say.

        The Debt we are in who has worked out the impact this will have , no one! Pensioner age care continue to be left behind no one cares about them!

        Having said that I do think the Idea of putting in homes that have spare rooms etc to help and support these people is a good one .I for one would be interested in doing this for no money just to help!
        Australians are very kind and giving but will not be bullied !

      • Vivienne Kempson  

        The Empty Rooms you speak of are empty because they were to be updated and renovated for the elderly they were three stories high with no lift built in the 50’s and needed renovating, they were not empty due to lack of over 65’s wanting one, as the other over 65 facility in Eltham has a waiting list as long as your arm, one couple I know personally has been on the waiting list for 7 years.

      • Pamela  

        How many so-called ‘refugees’ do you have in your home, Carolyn?

        They are usually healthy young men who refuse to fight for their countries, not the women and children, whom they tend to leave behind – funny that!

        But If young Australian disabled are not suitable to be housed in aged care facilities, why would moslems (read – potential terrorists) be suitable to be placed with our vulnerable frail/aged?

        Have you not seen what 3 million of these people have done to European countries?

        Have you not read quranic verses that moslems live by?

        What makes you think those in Australia will be any different when their numbers rise sufficiently?

  6. K. Scott  

    Refugees should have their own facility not an aged care place . Where do the aged care people go when it is full of refugees.I thought nursing homes and aged care was for the elderly who needed help in everyday living. The refugees are not in this catergorie. Some of these people are not refugees but slip under the radar as word gets out that Australia is a soft touch. Just saying.

  7. Sabine Sydenham  

    There are waiting lists for elderly people to go into these facilities. Sometimes they wait 2 years to get in. There is no way i would want my mother anywhere near these people.

  8. Judith Cook  

    This is so wrong, I know old people that want to go into facilities but they are told there is no space.
    I know my mum would be frightened if she had to be put in with refugees.

  9. If i remember correctly, this same organization tried to pull this stunt in NSW or Queensland. I think they get a subsidy from the government to house them. It’s all about money, not people!

    • michael mazur  

      We need to be racist or we’ll be erased altogether, because they are racist towards us as white people as we now see in Europe with the daily violence and intimidation directed at the people of Europe.

  10. Janice Day  

    I do not agree with this situation. Aged care is for our elderly and their considerable care needs. The facility should be specifically for our aged and in my opinion this move would be ill advised.

  11. Absolutely appalled at this suggestion. Surely an Aged care facility is for the Aged. There must be other aged persons who could fill these beds. No way known refugees should be lumped in there.

  12. Wendy Mulligan  

    I agree! I too thought places in aged care facilities were scarce! How come this place can take 100 refugees? Maybe the government should assist the elderly into nursing homes! We seem to assist every episode else but our own!

    • Billy Detlefsen  

      Parliament Politicians for F… sake listen we are telling you and nothing is happening. We Australian live here to not just you swines in Parliament.Pauline is right she is out there hearing us, she is the best thing that has happened. she faces you with what you just block out. Go Pauline.

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