It has been reported that 10 Sri Lankan asylum seekers have been moved from student accommodation at Macquarie University to a commercial building in Parramatta.
A spokeswoman from the Immigration Department said they could not comment on the addresses of asylum seekers and each case was handled by specific service providers.
She said moving the asylum seekers would have been a decision for the service provider, which in this case was the Red Cross.
A Red Cross spokeswoman said: ‘‘to protect the wellbeing and identity of our clients, Red Cross does not disclose the whereabouts of accommodation provided’’.
‘‘We are currently winding up our short-term accommodation arrangements at Macquarie University.’’
She did not explain the reason for the program being brought to an end long-term, but said in the short term it was being wrapped up due to the start of the semester.
It has been reported that a 21-year-old Sri Lankan man arrested over the sexual assault of a 20-year-old student at Macquarie University was one of the group which has been relocated.
Saradha Nathan, a Tamil community activist, said it was unfair to move the whole group of refugees, because one was charged with a crime.
She said she was concerned there seemed to be a trend in the community to think of all refugees as the same.
‘‘This man has been charged with a crime and he deserves a fair hearing in court,’’ Ms Nathan said.
‘‘But that does not mean that the rest of the asylum seekers staying with him are guilty or should be relocated.
‘‘The Tamil community is disgusted with these allegations, but every pack will have one bad apple.
‘‘We shouldn’t generalise about refugees and tar everyone with the same brush.’’
Immigration officials confirmed on Tuesday that the man who was charged was an asylum seeker.
However, the accused man was not living in student accommodation at Macquarie University at the time of the attack, an Immigration Department spokeswoman said.
Police said a female student was asleep in a student accommodation building at the uni in Sydney’s north-west when a man broke into her room and indecently assaulted her at about 3.20am on Thursday.
The woman woke up during the attack and the man fled.
A Sri Lankan national was arrested by police at Railway Square in Sydney’s CBD about 10.15am on Tuesday and taken for questioning to Surry Hills police station.
Macquarie University has previously said there was nothing to link the attack to its ongoing accommodation of asylum seekers.
The university provides services for asylum seekers, including temporary accommodation, under a 2012 agreement with the Red Cross Asylum Seeker Assistance Scheme (ASAS).
Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said the incident showed that the government was not keeping track of asylum seekers once they had entered the country.
‘‘They’re basically just dumping people out into the community with no care and no responsibility,’’ Mr Morrison told Fairfax Radio.