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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 over 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 over 40 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

Back Your Neighbour

The Back Your Neighbour Campaign, which was launched on 3 December 2018, saw leading 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, South Australia 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:

  1. Ensure an independent, timely and fair application and merits review process for all humanitarian applications.
  2. Provide people who have received a negative refugee determination under the ‘Fast Track’ system with a fair review process.
  3. Continue to invest resources to urgently clear the backlog of asylum applications and appeals.
  4. Provide everyone with a valid visa with work, travel and study rights.
  5. Expand the Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) eligibility criteria and simplify the application process so that people in need can access health care, disability, housing support and other essential services.
  6. Abolish temporary visas like Temporary Protection Visas and Safe Haven Enterprise Visas and replace them with permanent protection visas and pathways to citizenship for all humanitarian arrivals.

For more information and to join the campaign, visit or


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.

  • Blacktown City Council (NSW)
  • Brimbank City Council (VIC)
  • City of Darebin (VIC)
  • City of Greater Dandenong (VIC)
  • City of Hume (VIC)
  • City of Kingston (VIC)
  • City of Monash (VIC)
  • Merri-bek City Council (VIC)
  • Wyndham 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.

  • Ararat Rural City Council (VIC)
  • City of Ballarat (VIC)
  • Banyule City Council (VIC)
  • Blue Mountains City Council (NSW)
  • City of Canterbury Bankstown (NSW)
  • City of Casey (VIC)
  • City of Greater Bendigo (VIC)
  • Hawkesbury City Council (NSW)
  • Hobsons Bay City Council (VIC)
  • Inner West Council (NSW)
  • Maribyrnong City Council (VIC)
  • Melbourne City Council (VIC)
  • Moonee Valley City Council (VIC)
  • Newcastle City Council (NSW)
  • Nillumbik Shire Council (VIC)
  • Orange City Council (NSW)
  • Randwick Council (NSW)
  • City of Port Phillip (VIC)
  • City of West Torrens (SA)
  • City of Whittlesea (VIC)


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

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

Important Documents

Taskforce Meeting Minutes