Australia moots safe housing, transport for Indian students


New Delhi : John Brumby, the premier of Australian state of Victoria, Friday proposed to give separate transportation and safe housing for Indian students studying in Australia.

Support TwoCircles

Union Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi, after a meeting with a nine-member delegation led by Brumby, said: “It is a proposal by the Australian government. It will be examined by the India-Australia joint working group.”

Asked whether separate housing would create a “ghetto feeling” among the Indian students, Ravi said the proposal is not meant just for Indian students.

“It is meant for all international students studying in Australia,” Ravi said.

Addressing a joint press conference after the meeting, both Ravi and Brumby said they had “useful and productive” discussions concerns of the Indian student community in Victoria.

They have been a string of attacks on Indian students in Australian cities of Melbourne and Sydney, causing a furore in India. Melbourne is the capital of Victoria.

Brumby admitted that some of the attacks had racial elements.

Reiterating that Victoria is a safe place for Indians to live and study in, Brumby said: “Steps would be taken to ensure the safety of the students. We have toughened our laws related to the racial crimes. We will inform the Indian government on the follow-up of the crime investigations by Australian police.”

“The government of Victoria will not tolerate any crimes against Indian students,” Brumby said.

Ravi said the recent attacks on Indian students would not prevent Indians from investing in Australia.

“The people of India consider Australia as a friendly nation,” Ravi said.