[LISTEN] It's a go for Australia's plan to accept white SA farmers

[LISTEN] It's a go for Australia's plan to accept white SA farmers

Australia's Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has confirmed Canberra is looking at ways to fast-track visas for white South African farmers who are being "savagely attacked" in their country.

Pieter Dutton Twitter
Twitter: @PeterDutton_MP

Dutton vowed to continue with their programme to take white South African farmers to Australia.

He sparked a diplomatic uproar last week, but maintains farmers need to flee the "horrific circumstances" for a "civilised country".

Speaking to the international commercial radio station, 2GB, Dutton said that people have started to apply for visas.

"We've been inundated with messages of support and references to particular places. We will start to work through those and if people meet the criteria under the program, they will settle under the program here," Dutton said to host Ray Hadley.

He rejected claims that the move would spark racial tension, saying "I am completely blind to somebody's skin colour."

ALSO READ: Government: Australian minister's white farmer remarks ‘regrettable'

Dutton insisted that his plans are based on national interest and the well-being of South Africans.

"It concerns me that people are being persecuted at the moment that is the reality. The number of people dying or savagely attacked in South Africa is a reality."

Minister Dutton was answering questions about Australian policy in general, when he was asked about the current controversy about the diplomatic fallout between his county and South Africa. 

The International Relations and Cooperation Department (Dirco) has since called on Dutton to retract the comments.

According to AFP at least 500 000 white South Africans have left the country in the past 30 years, with Australia ranking as the top destination.

Sound courtesy of 2GB. 

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