Tuesday, 18 September 2018
That the Senate:
(i) the past comments made by Minister Dutton, supporting the plight of the white South African farmers and suggesting that they be given priority for humanitarian visas, and
(ii) Australia's acceptance of an additional 12,000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees between 2015 and 2017 to address displacement caused by the Syrian civil war and the fight against Islamic State;
(b) recognises the current situation of white South Africans is dire as a result of state–sanctioned persecution, resulting in racially motivated murders;
(c) as a matter of principle, strongly condemns any and all calls for the killing, marginalisation, persecution, victimisation and targeting of any racial minority group in the Republic of South Africa by any of its officials, past or present; and
(d) calls on the Government to immediately implement a humanitarian visa program, similar to the Syrian visas, for white South Africans.
As the Minister for Home Affairs has stated, the department will consider applications for people from South Africa within the existing humanitarian program. All humanitarian applications are assessed on an individual, non-discriminatory basis, in line with Australia's existing refugee and humanitarian policies. A person's ethnicity or religion may be relevant only to the extent of the nature of their individual claims of persecution.
Labor opposes this motion because we see through Senator Anning's petty political games. Labor supports a non-discriminatory migration program that has been in place for decades. If people face persecution, regardless of where they are from or the colour of their skin, they are able to apply to Australia's humanitarian visa program. Australia's protection obligations are clear and set out in the Migration Act. Regrettably, the Minister for Home Affairs feels differently. The minister has called for special attention—a different set of standards—which would undermine Australia's non-discriminatory program. If Senator Anning was serious about humanitarian resettlement, he would support Labor's commitment that we took to the last election to increase the annual humanitarian intake to 27,000 by 2025.
This motion contains white supremacist rot. We'll be voting against it. This paranoid, racist motion is, unfortunately, only a few steps away from the policies of many members of the governing Liberal and National parties. Their policies towards refugees in the motion are broadly the same as the Labor and Liberal consensus of cruelty to refugees. It's not enough to vote this motion down; we need to join together to stop marching this country down the hateful path that Senator Anning advocates. My advice to Senator Anning is: stop beating up on migrants, stop beating up on refugees and start supporting multicultural Australia. My advice to the Liberal, National and Australian Labor parties in this place is: act to make Australia's refugee program truly non-discriminatory by ending the exile of people who arrived in Australia by boat asking for our help.