Timor-Leste

Aus continuing tough stance on visa extensions for ETimor refugees

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Australian Immigration Minister Phillip Ruddock is continuing his tough stance on visa extensions for East Timor refugees, currently in safe havens around Australia.

Federal Labor Opposition leader Kim Beazley, who's in Dili to see first-hand the conditions, remains firm in his belief the refugees should have their visas extended beyond next Wednesday's deadline.

But, Mr Ruddock says only extenuating circumstances, such as those in poor health and mothers with new-born babies will be allowed to stay in Australia. .

He says it's time for the able-bodied refugees to rebuild their lives:

People need to get on with their lives that's the only point I make and you can't do it by simply remaining in a highly independent situation where somebody else is looking after your immediate needs, particularly when you are not ill and there are no other pressing requirements

=A9 1999 Australian Broadcasting Corporation

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