Wednesday, 26 August 2020
I, and also on behalf of Senator Griff, move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) 19 July 2020 was the seventh anniversary of the introduction of Australia's current policy of offshore detention,
(ii) on 19 July 2013, then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced his Government had entered into a regional resettlement arrangement with Papua New Guinea, which would reintroduce offshore processing and detention for people seeking asylum who arrived by sea, and
(iii) since this arrangement was entered into, the following 13 people who were sent to Manus Island or Nauru by Australia under its offshore detention system have died: Reza Barati (2014); Sayed Ibrahim Hussein (2014); Hamid Kehazaei (2014); Omid Masoumali (2016); Rakib Khan (2016); Kamil Hussain (2016); Faysal Ishak Ahmed (2016); Hamed Shamshiripour (2017); Rajeev Rajendran (2017); Jahingir (2017); Salim Kyawning (2018); Fariborz Karami (2018); and Sayed Mirwais Rohani (2019);
(b) expresses sincere condolences to the families and friends of these men who died while subject to Australia's offshore detention policy; and
(c) at the passing of this motion rises and spends a moment in silence to reflect on the deaths that have occurred in Australia's current offshore detention system.
The government cannot support Senator McKim's motion, which is just another example of the Greens abusing this chamber as a platform for cynical political stunts. Australians haven't forgotten what happened when Labor and the Greens weakened our borders. Fifty thousand people arrived on more than 800 boats. At least 1,200 lives were tragically lost at sea, and 8,000 children were detained. The Greens want to give the keys to our borders back to people smugglers, just like they did during the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd border disaster. The Morrison government will never return to the failed policies of those opposite. We will not adopt policies which will condemn vulnerable men, women and children to perilous sea voyages.