Tuesday, 8 November 2016
Statements by Members
There is nothing in the government's proposed asylum seeker lifetime ban worthy of support. It is ridiculous, it is pointless, and it is cruel. That is why I am opposing it, and that is why Labor is opposing it. It is ridiculous that a resettled refugee could never return to Australia for work, for study, to visit families or for a simple holiday. It is ridiculous to ask possible third-party resettlement countries to create two unequal levels of citizenship, and it is pointless because this will not prevent deaths at sea. What is more, there are already robust compliances processes in place for visa applicants and those processes are well equipped to manage risk. It is cruel because it would permanently tear families apart by preventing resettled refugees and asylum seekers from visiting family in Australia—ever. While we are told ministerial discretion would apply, are we truly ready to trust Minister Dutton to make fair and reasonable decisions? This is the same minister who had to be forced by Labor into establish an inquiry when allegation of abuse in offshore processing emerged.
The government needs to stop playing dog-whistle politics and stop taking its policy cues from One Nation. Instead, I once again call on the government to find a third-party resettlement option as a matter of urgency, to increase our humanitarian intake and to act to ensure the health and safety of people in offshore processing. (Time expired)