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Local Government Mayoral Taskforce Supporting People Seeking Asylum

Since 2018, the Local Government Mayoral Taskforce Supporting People Seeking Asylum has been advocating for the rights of people seeking asylum to the Federal and Victorian Government. 

Right now, in Australia there are 90,000 people awaiting for their application for protection to be finalised. This includes people who have waited for close to ten years. 

Applications for asylum are clearly stuck in a broken system. This overly slow approach prevents individuals and families gaining the stability that refugee status provides. The result is vulnerable people living on the edge for years, without access to critical support service such as Centrelink, Medicare, public housing, education, mental health and food. 

Established and chaired by Greater Dandenong Council, the Mayoral Taskforce Supporting People Seeking Asylum is now made up of 39 councils nationwide, who are banding together to advocate for a fairer and swifter Refugee Status Determination system.

Taskforce purpose:

Coordination of joint state-wide advocacy by Councils and sharing resources and practical responses by communities to the issues caused by negative policies towards people seeking asylum.

If your Council is interested in joining the Taskforce, or would like further information please contact Peter Johnstone, Coordinator, Community Advocacy, City of Greater Dandenong at


Members of the Mayoral Taskforce

The following Councils are part of the Local Government Mayoral Taskforce Supporting People Seeking Asylum:

Executive Members

Executive Members meet regularly and act as a steering group for the Taskforce.

  • Brimbank City Council (VIC)
  • City of Casey (VIC)
  • City of Darebin (VIC)
  • City of Greater Dandenong (VIC)
  • City of Hume (VIC)
  • City of Kingston (VIC)
  • City of Monash (VIC)
  • Hobsons Bay City Council (VIC)
  • Moreland City Council (VIC)
  • Yarra City Council (VIC)

General Members

General Members are consulted on Taskforce direction, take an active role in Taskforce activities and contribute resources to the Taskforce.

  • Banyule City Council (VIC)
  • Cardinia Shire Council (VIC)
  • City of Ballarat (VIC)
  • City of Canterbury Bankstown (NSW)
  • City of Greater Bendigo (VIC)
  • City of Port Phillip (VIC)
  • City of Wagga Wagga (NSW)
  • City of Whittlesea (VIC)
  • Hawkesbury City Council (NSW)
  • Inner West Council (NSW)
  • Launceston City Council (VIC)
  • Leeton Shire Council (NSW)
  • Maribyrnong City Council (VIC)
  • Melbourne City Council (VIC)
  • Moonee Valley City Council (VIC)
  • Newcastle City Council (NSW)
  • Nillumbik Shire Council (VIC)
  • Randwick Council (NSW)
  • Wyndham City Council (VIC)
  • Blue Mountains City Council (NSW)


Supporter Councils are informed on Taskforce direction, and receive material to use to promote the Back Your Neighbor Campaign.

  • Bass Coast Shire Council (VIC)
  • City of Greater Geelong (VIC)
  • Macedon Ranges Shire Council (VIC)
  • Maroondah City Council (VIC)
  • Mornington Peninsula Shire (VIC)
  • Queenscliffe Borough Council (VIC)
  • Wellington Shire Council (VIC)
  • City of Whitehorse (VIC)
  • City of Hobart (TAS)

Back Your Neighbour Campaign

The Back Your Neighbour Campaign, which was launched on 3 December 2018, has seen 39 Councils band together to ensure people who have fled persecution do not end up suffering homelessness or destitution as a result of Federal Government policies.

This campaign symbolises a unified approach with Councils from New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania involved together with community ambassadors and advocates to have a fair and swift Refugee Status Determination system be introduced by the Federal Government. 

The Back Your Neighbour campaign is calling on the Federal Government to:

  • Announce a clear timeline for replacing temporary visas like TPVs and SHEVs with permanent protection visas and pathways to citizenship for all humanitarian arrivals
  • Invest resources to urgently clear the backlog of asylum applications/appeals in order to create an efficient system 
  • Provide consistent access to Medicare, income support, employment support, mental health, NDIS and other vital services, including revised eligibility for SRSS support  
  • Ensure people seeking asylum have work and study rights, including access to local fees for university and TAFE
  • Replace the existing 'Fast Track' system with a single RSD process and an independent, timely and fair merits review

We are calling on state and territory governments to:

  • Provide funding to local services who are supporting individuals and families seeking asylum 

For more information and to join the campaign, visit or