Excision of the mainland: More refugee shame on the Gillard government

| October 30, 2012 | Reply

The move by the Gillard government to excise the Australian mainland from the migration zone is an absurd throwback to the draconian policies of the Howard government.

“The blind application of the so-called ‘no advantage’ policy has led the government to implement yet another element of failed Liberal Party policy. Excising the mainland is a nonsense. Thousands of asylum seekers are arriving at excised places. The Minister can excise all the territory he likes, but the question is, ‘What is he going to do with the thousands of asylum seekers arriving at excised places who are languishing in Australian detention centres and on Nauru?’ ” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“The government is desperate to be seen to be doing something, but excising the mainland is worse than nothing. The government’s off-shore processing arrangements are already in tatters.

“The asylum seekers on boats that are arriving are filling Australian detention centres, and Nauru, and are being left in limbo. The government is refusing to process people who have arrived since 13 August, in spite of the fact that enough asylum seekers have arrived to fill Nauru and Manus Island more than twice over.

“It is only a matter of time before asylum seekers in Australian detention centres will have to be processed, but the Minister is quite willing to force them to endure more weeks of uncertainty while the Minister blindly implements a ‘no advantage’ test that has already been revealed to be vacuous.

“The Minister says that he is committed to the Expert Panel’s recommendation but he has ignored the one recommendation that could have provided as he says, ‘a safer way of getting to Australia.’ ”

“The Expert Panel recommended that 3,800 refugees be taken from Australia’s immediate region. But the government’s commitment to refugees from Indonesia is only 600.

“There was meant to be 400 immediately taken from Indonesia but people who were told they had been accepted in January 2012 are still waiting. And none of the 300 Rohingyan refugees in Medan, some waiting for three years, have been told anything about being included in any increased intake from Indonesia.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

Category: Press releases

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