House debates

Monday, 22 October 2018


Migration Amendment (Kids Off Nauru) Bill 2018; Second Reading

10:34 am

Photo of Rebekha SharkieRebekha Sharkie (Mayo, Centre Alliance) Share this | Hansard source

It is a privilege to second the motion for this bill, which I do so with great pride. The situation in Nauru has become untenable, and we are using children like sacrificial lambs. In generations to come Australia will look back on Nauru and how we treated the children and, indeed, all people on Nauru, and we will be ashamed. We did not treat child refugees like this after World War II. We did not treat child refugees like this after Vietnam. It disturbs me greatly that the Federal Court has to be involved every single time, whether that's just putting in hearings or, indeed, attending the court, in order for us to get these children here.

We are hearing different information from the minister than from Medecins Sans Frontieres. There is no child psychiatrist on Nauru. There is one adult psychiatrist. He speaks Spanish. He is from Cuba. There are no interpreters. This parliament must act on this matter. Please, I ask this parliament to reject the scaremongering. The Australian nation is rejecting this scaremongering. The boats are still coming, but they are being turned around. The government is spending billions on Operation Sovereign Borders. This is a separate issue to the humanitarian issue of getting children off Nauru. I must say that this is not a left-wing thing. This is not a right-wing thing. This is just the right thing to do. We must get the children off Nauru so they can receive urgent medical treatment.

I commend the member for Denison on this bill. I wish those in the opposition had the courage to support this bill. They have been silent on the matter for my whole time in parliament— (Time expired)


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