Only the Greens have a plan for a safe, practical and humane approach to refugees.
Only Adam Bandt and the Greens have a compassionate and credible policy for refugees.
JULIAN BURNSIDE AO QC
Standing up for refugees
The old parties' race to the bottom on refugees is getting worse. Refugees and migrants have long contributed to Australian culture and society, and yet both Labor and the Liberals want to continue policies that abuse and vilify them. For years, the major parties have demonised them with terms like ‘illegals’, despite seeking asylum not being a crime.
We agree with refugee experts: the successful regional response to the Vietnam War was the kind of policy that saved lives and made us proud of our role in the world. The Greens’ plan includes:
Ending offshore detention on Manus Island and Nauru
Australian governments have locked up refugees, stateless persons, and people seeking asylum on Manus Island and Nauru for an average of 826 days. Many have been there for more than five years.
Increasing our refugee intake to 50,000
As one of the world’s wealthiest countries, Australia has an obligation to do more for refugees and people seeking asylum (people seeking to be recognised as refugees).
7 day limit for onshore detention and support to live with dignity in the community
According to a Commonwealth Ombudsman’s report, prolonged detention has a significant, negative impact on the mental health of a person being detained that can lead to self-harm and suicide. The Greens’ plan includes a 7 day time limit for people held in onshore immigration detention. This is enough time to conduct the necessary checks and assess a claim for asylum, without subjecting people seeking asylum to undue risk. Extensions to 7 day detentions where necessary for valid public order, public health, or national security concerns may be sought from the courts on a case-by-case basis.
A Royal Commission
The Greens have called repeatedly for a Royal Commission into Australia’s immigration detention facilities. Royal Commissions have significant powers and gravitas, and have brought about significant changes in other areas they have held inquiries into.