Wednesday, 29 March 2017
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) Australia's offshore processing is a deliberately cruel policy that has created a humanitarian crisis,
(ii) men, women and children who have sought asylum have suffered immeasurable harm at Australia's hands, including death, psychological trauma and serious injuries,
(iii) the former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Mr Juan Mendez, concluded Australia had "violated the right of the asylum seekers, including children, to be free from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment",
(iv) Amnesty International says the Nauru detention centre was "explicitly designed to inflict incalculable damage on hundreds of women, men and children",
(v) indefinite offshore detention has led to global condemnation and a lowering of Australia's international standing,
(vi) despite the Manus Island processing centre being declared illegal by the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court in April 2016, the Australian Government has failed to resettle people in its care and forcibly deported an unknown number of people from Papua New Guinea,
(vii) the Department of Immigration and Border Protection says the cost of establishing and running offshore detention has exceeded $4.4 billion since 2013,
(viii) the Australian National Audit Office found that it costs $573,000 per person per year to keep people locked up in offshore detention,
(ix) despite the massive human and financial cost of this policy, that boats carrying people seeking asylum continue to attempt to reach Australia,
(x) many of these asylum seekers have been turned around to meet an unknown fate at sea or potentially refouled, contrary to Australia's international legal and moral obligations, and
(xi) despite the Australian Government's so-called "deal" with the United States, no one has been resettled in that country; and
(b) calls on the Government to end offshore detention, and bring every man woman and child, detained on Papua New Guinea and Nauru, to Australia.
The government will not waiver in our commitment to secure Australia's borders. Regional processing is a key component of our border protection framework. Australians have not forgotten what happened when Labor and the Greens lost control of our borders: 1,200 people drowned at sea, 8,000 children were placed into detention and 50,000 people arrived on more than 800 boats. Labor and the Greens have learned nothing and will do it all again if given the chance. The government's border protection policies will not change. No-one in regional processing centres will be resettled in Australia.