The federal government has finally recognised Armidale as a suitable refugee settlement location.
About 200 Iraq and Syrian refugees will be settled in city next year.
It comes after years of lobbying by refugee advocacy groups and Armidale Regional Council.
“It’s not just Armidale who has been pushing for this either,” Sanctuary Humanitarian Settlement member Robin Jones said.
“Multicultural NSW has promoted it, The Refugee Council of Australia has promoted it, Paul Power [its chief executive] has promoted it, it’s been a long time coming.”
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and assistant multicultural affairs minister Zed Seselja will announce the decision in Armidale Today.
The group will not be part of the Abbott government’s 12,000 humanitarian placement announced in 2015
Dr Jones said this was excellent news for Armidale.
“We’ve ready, willing and able, let me assure you,” she said.
The city will also receive a boost in refugee services to assist the new arrivals according to Dr Jones.
“We already have four services here - and the major one is Northern Settlement Services,” she said.
“But we also have a refugee nurse - two refugee nurses in fact.
“We have STARTTS, which is a councilling service that comes up from Coffs Harbor.
“We have TAFE that has the language programs.
“And we have a community that is very supportive too.”