Wednesday, 10 May 2023
Statements by Senators
In this budget, the Albanese government has shown yet again that it does not care about refugees. It cares even less about the human rights of people seeking asylum. Never underestimate the capacity of the Labor Party to disappoint. In no policy area is this statement more true than in regard to refugee and immigration policy. While claiming that this budget won't leave anyone behind, there is absolutely nothing in there for people seeking asylum—not a single mention. I welcome the targeted support measures that will positively support people seeking asylum and support refugees, but the Albanese government continues the Morrison government's punitive approach to, and disgracefully poor social supports for, people seeking asylum. These limited measures aren't anywhere near Labor's election commitments and don't go nearly far enough to tackle the unfair, unjust, unequal and frankly violent system that this colonial government enforces on people seeking safety.
The Albanese government will spend a staggering $6 billion over the next four years to maintain a cruel and dehumanising immigration detention system, with a lot of this money going to private security and prison companies who have no regard for human rights and torture people who are simply trying to keep themselves and their families alive. If this Labor government wants to show it has any integrity and respect for human rights, it will commit to its election promises to increase our humanitarian intake, expand social support services and close the violent, torturous and shockingly expensive immigration detention— (Time expired)