Several Queensland councils have announced their willingness to welcome Ukrainian refugees into their shires as civilians continue to be terrorised by the invasion of Russian troops.
Balonne Shire Mayor Samantha O'Toole said councillors were enthusiastic about encouraging Ukrainian families to move to the region.
"This is a humanitarian gesture and an opportunity for displaced families to move to a community that is very welcoming to migrants," Mayor O'Toole said.
"Migration benefits our community enormously. We are a prosperous farming community that always needs people to help harvest our crops.
"There are plenty of permanent jobs in the Balonne Shire in farming and a wide range of other skills, from motor mechanics to computer experts.
"While our average temperatures may be a little higher than those in eastern Europe - and we certainly don't have snow - our landscapes of wheat fields and other crops wouldn't look unfamiliar to anyone who has farmed in the Ukraine."
Mayor O'Toole said the Council was contacting the Ukrainian Embassy in Canberra and Immigration Minister Alex Hawke to discuss the opportunities for refugees to move to Balonne.
Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio said he has also been in contact with Minister Hawke in regards to Ukrainian refugees being welcomed to the Toowoomba area.
"The Toowoomba Region has been a refugee welcome zone for many years and has a rich history of taking in migrants from across the globe," Mayor Antonio said.
"Earlier this week I spoke to our local Federal Member and intend to speak to the Federal Minister for Immigration on this matter," Mayor Antonio said.
"What is happening in Ukraine at present is horrific.
"As a compassionate and caring community we would welcome Ukrainian refugees here and will be seeing how we can further engage with the Ukrainian community already living in our Region."
Hon David Littleproud MP was questioned on the topic at the Western Queensland Alliance of Councils assembly and assured councillors that the federal government also supported the relocation of refugees to Australia, including to his electorate of Maranoa.
"We obviously respect the sovereignty of the Ukrainian government, anyone under the age of 60 they're not letting out, particularly males, and we'll respect that," Mr Littleproud said.
"Anyone else outside that, we are obviously going to open our doors up to them and so too will other countries.
"There has been people contact us in the Maranoa in the last 24 or 48 hours who have loved ones in Ukraine that they're looking to get to Australia.
"It is fragmented over there in the moment and we're just trying to work through that. Their priority over there at the moment is just to survive, and we're trying to help where we can."
Mr Littleproud told the crowd that it was difficult for Australians to comprehend how the war in Ukraine would impact them and their businesses.
"That's probably one of the most frightening things for Australians to understand at the moment, is that this is going to impact us," he said.
"We are not at the bottom of the world and away from this.
"What we do now and how we operate will determine how your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will live and the freedoms that you've enjoyed, whether they will enjoy those or not.
"It is real, but we are well placed."
Also read: Ukraine war tests the EU Green Deal
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