Politicians representing the Dubbo region have declined to say whether or not they would lobby for their communities to become regional refugee settlement locations, despite a report noting the economic and social benefits refugees could offer country towns.
In response to a recent review into refugee integration, employment and settlement outcomes, the federal government said it had started talking to state governments about identifying more undisclosed regional refugee settlement locations.
"In the past decade, a number of regional towns across Australia have been revitalised by the resettlement of refugees," the review found.
"For regional communities, refugees contribute to their long-term sustainability. They help to fill labour shortages and stimulate the local economy, alleviate population decline and revitalise local services."
The review found the successful resettlement of refugees has helped communities by creating new jobs and adding millions of dollars to local economies over several years.
After the review was handed down, federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton MP declined to say if he would advocate for Dubbo to be a regional refugee settlement location.
"My experience is that refugees are in important part of our community," Mr Coulton said.
"Some of Dubbo's most respected and involved residents left their country of birth and arrived here as refugees," he said.
"Decisions on the settlement of humanitarian entrants in particular regions...will be made in due course."
State Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders did not provide any response to any questions asked about refugees.
A Dubbo Regional Council spokesperson said the council welcomed new residents and "focuses its attraction strategies on the attraction of skills, regardless of migrant, refugee or citizenship status".
Regional Development Australia (RDA) Orana Director Megan Dixon said support services for refugees would need to increase if the region became a destination for refugees.
"With an unemployment rate at 2.3 per cent, Dubbo needs to attract workers. If those workers happen to be refugees or migrants, who are prepared to move to, settle and work in our community, then yes, having an available worker would be beneficial to our employers," she said.