Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Old parties racing to refugee cruelty, the bottom of the barrel and the election



Download PDFDownload PDF

MEDIA RELEASE

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Old parties racing to refugee cruelty, the bottom of the barrel and the election

The politically motivated race to refugee cruelty must end for Australia to keep its reputation as a caring country and a responsible global citizen, the Australian Greens have said.

“This desperate race to cruelty isn’t smashing the people smugglers, it’s smashing Australia’s reputation,” the Greens’ immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

“Australia’s generous heart is under attack as the old parties race to refugee cruelty, the bottom of the barrel and the election.

“Today’s announcement from the opposition is just the next step in the cruelty competition that we’ve been seeing between Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott.

“The government has said it will send pregnant mothers and children under 7 years old to a malaria-ridden gulag on Manus Island. This truly is a sad day for Australia.

“The mask of compassion is slipping to reveal the real motivation behind these desperate, shameful announcements. If Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd really wanted to save lives at sea, they'd give refugees a safer option like Malcolm Fraser did after the Vietnam War.

“Processing the backlog of claims in Indonesia before resettling large numbers of refugees from the region into Australia would give people a safer pathway to protection than a dangerous boat journey.

“The Houston Panel recommended Australia take 3,800 refugees out of Indonesia, giving them a safer way to reach protection.

“Australia must fund refugee assessments in Indonesia to clear the backlog and stop people from being forced onto dangerous boats.”

Media Contact: Noah Schultz-Byard 0427 604 760