14/03/2018 12:51 SAST | Updated 14/03/2018 15:55 SAST

Australia Considers Fast-Tracking White SA Farmer Visas Citing 'Horrific Circumstances'

“If you look at the footage and read the stories... it’s a horrific circumstance they face” – Peter Dutton, Australian immigration minister.

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Australian immigration and border protection minister Peter Dutton says that his department is considering fast-tracking the visas of white South African farmers looking to emigrate to Australia, because the group deserves "special attention" due to the "horrific circumstances" they face in South Africa.

"If you look at the footage and read the stories, you hear the accounts, it's a horrific circumstance they face" – Peter Dutton, Australian home affairs minister.

According to The Guardian, an "outbreak of land seizures" and violence has led the Australian immigration department to exam a range of methods to fast-track white South African farmers' path to Australia on humanitarian or other visa programmes.

The immigration minister noted that Australia has refugee, humanitarian and other visa programmes that have the "potential to help some of these people".

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Reports claim that he has asked his department to look at the options "because from what I have seen, they do need help from a civilised country like ours".

"We want people who want to come here, abide by our laws, integrate into our society, work hard, not lead a life on welfare. And I think these people deserve special attention, and we're certainly applying that special attention now."

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Sutton said his department was looking at ways to help "some of these horrific cases" and suggested an announcement could be made shortly.

Asked if this could be achieved with the South African government's cooperation, Dutton replied that Australia "can work with governments all around the world".