House debates

Monday, 10 September 2018

Statements by Members

Immigration Detention

4:00 pm

Photo of Sharon ClaydonSharon Claydon (Newcastle, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

It's been 17 months since the report of the inquiry by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee into serious allegations of abuse, self-harm and neglect of asylum seekers and Manus Island and Nauru was handed down. To date, the Liberal government hasn't acted on a single recommendation. I am deeply concerned that refugees in Australian funded offshore-processing centres are being denied access to the medical treatment they need here in Australia. It's utterly deplorable that there seems to be one set of rules for refugees needing medical treatment and another for au pairs with links to a ministerial office. To deny vulnerable people the care they need isn't being tough on border control; it's being cruel and barbaric. But that's what happens when you have a government that sees compassion as a weakness and human rights obligations as an irritant.

Medical transfers should be determined by doctors, not politicians. We don't need a federal court order for Australia to fulfil or understand its duty of care. It's time for the new Prime Minister to step up. The health care and needs of refugees and children must be paramount. The time is up, new Prime Minister. Here's a great opportunity for you to learn from the errors of your past and set the record straight.