East Timorese Refugees Refuse to Board Plane in Western Australia

Australia's Department of Immigration will consider removing privileges from the remaining East Timorese refugees at Leeuwin Barracks in the West Australian city of Fremantle.

140 refugees have refused to board a charter flight to Sydney, saying they want to stay in Perth.

The Department says it may remove internet access and phone cards, and take away living allowances until the situation is resolved.

The department claims the refugees were talked into staying by certain members of the Perth community.

However refugee spokesman, Vicente Solras, claims the decision was made when the group decided not to be separated from relatives who are too sick to fly.

they say that we want to stay together .. whether it's here in leeuwin barracks outside of leeuwin barracks they want to stay together.

=A9 1999 Australian Broadcasting


Australian Broadcasting Corporation