Former Immigration Minister Scott Morrison threatened to revoke Moreland Council’s right to hold an Australia Day citizenship ceremony if Mayor Megan Hopper refused to read an official Ministerial message. The message is normally delivered at citizenship ceremonies, however it isn’t compulsory. Ms Hopper said the Federal Government’s asylum seeker policies conflicted with the council’s policy. In response, Wollongong Mayor Gordon Bradbery said the letter was ‘fairly innocuous’ and ‘full of motherhood statements’.
The Guardian reported that refugees released from detention on Nauru have pleaded to be allowed back into detention centres due to fears of violence and harassment from locals.
In her New Year address German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a more welcoming attitude to refugees amid concern at the rise of anti-Islamic groups in the country. The first refugees moved into so-called ‘container towns’ in Berlin – emergency housing built from stackable, portable blocks.