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Turnbull Announces Refugee Resettlement Deal With United States

The Turnbull government has announced a deal that will see the remaining refugees held in offshore processing centres offered resettlement in the United States.

Turnbull

Speaking at a press conference this morning with Immigration and Border Protection minister Peter Dutton, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the deal is a “one-off agreement” that will only be available to people currently in the off-shore centres. [Read more…]


Turnbull Defends And Promotes Refugee Policy In Address To United Nations General Assembly

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has defended and promoted Australia’s refugee policy, in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly.

Turnbull

Turnbull addressed the UN at 8pm local time.

  • Listen to Turnbull’s speech (18m)

Transcript of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s Address to the General Assembly of the United Nations.

PRIME MINISTER MALCOLM TURNBULL: Secretary-General, Mr President, Your Excellencies.

The tenor of our times is change.

Accelerating with a pace and scale unprecedented in all of human history. [Read more…]


Turnbull’s Economic Policy Speech To CEDA Disrupted By Refugee Protesters

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s speech to CEDA today was interrupted by a group of refugee protesters.

Turnbull

Turnbull was addressing the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, in Melbourne, on economic policy. The female protesters gained entry to the event by posing as members of the press. About ten minutes into the speech, they began yelling and waving banners that called for the closing of offshore refugee detention camps. One woman stood on the stage near Turnbull with a poster that read: “FFS Close the Bloody Camps”. The protesters were quickly dispersed and evicted from the event.

Turnbull’s speech contained little new. It centred on the government’s commitment to Budget repair and its election campaign themes of innovation and science, investment in the defence industry, trade agreements and taxation.

The Prime Minister said: “In the upcoming sittings, we will introduce an Omnibus Bill that puts together all the Government’s savings measures that we understand from the election campaign the Labor Party is prepared to support.” [Read more…]


Liberals Maintain Focus On Boats

The Liberal Party has maintained its focus on boats and border protection, releasing a new advertisement today.

The advertisement includes audio and video of Kevin Rudd and Bill Shorten committing themselves to turning back boats. “Same old Labor,” the ad says. “Labor can’t be trusted on boats.” [Read more…]


Liberal Advertisement: What Do Shorten And Rudd Have In Common?

This is an advertisement posted by the Liberal Party on YouTube.

It is the third advertisement on boats and aslyum seekers in the first week of the election campaign. [Read more…]


“Our Policy Is Clear” – Liberals Pounce On ALP’s Border Protection Dissension

The Liberal Party has seized on dissension in Labor ranks over offshore processing of asylum seekers.

The ALP candidate for Melbourne, Sophie Ismail, went on the record today as favouring bringing asylum seekers to Australia and processing them here. Melbourne is held for the Greens by Adam Bandt.

The Liberals released the advertisement shown below. It quotes Ismail and other comments by retiring WA MP Melissa Parke and Tasmanian Senator Lisa Singh. The repeated “our policy is clear” comments from Opposition Leader Bill Shorten are taken from his media conference today where he was questioned about Ismail’s comments. [Read more…]


Immigration Detention And Children: Statement From Immigration And Border Protection Department

This is a statement on immigration detention and children, issued by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

The statement was issued by the Secretary of the Department, Michael Pezzullo.

Later in the day, a further statement was issued, following criticism of the third paragraph’s statement that “suggestions that detention involves a ‘public numbing and indifference’ similar to that allegedly experienced in Nazi Germany” were offensive.

Both statements are shown below.

Statement from Michael Pezzullo, Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Immigration detention and children: separating fact from fiction

PezzulloConsistent with the law of the land, and under direction of the government of the day, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection operates a policy of keeping children in detention only as a last resort, and releasing those children that might be in detention as soon as reasonably practicable.

This is a very contentious area of public policy and administration. Sometimes emotions rise and facts gets distorted. For the reputation of my Department and its officers, it is crucial that I set the record straight: the Department and its uniformed operational arm, the Australian Border Force, does not operate beyond the law, nor is it an immoral ‘rogue agency’.

Recent comparisons of immigration detention centres to ‘gulags’; suggestions that detention involves a “public numbing and indifference” similar to that allegedly experienced in Nazi Germany; and persistent suggestions that detention facilities are places of ‘torture’ are highly offensive, unwarranted and plainly wrong – and yet they continue to be made in some quarters. [Read more…]


Melissa Parke: Speech On Asylum Seekers

The retiring ALP member for Fremantle, has addressed the House of Representatives on the treatment of asylum seekers.

Parke, 49, who has held Fremantle since 2007, spoke in the Grievance Debate in the Federation Chamber.

  • Listen to Parke’s speech (10m)

Speech by Melissa Parke, member for Fremantle, to the House of Representatives.

Parke

Ms PARKE (Fremantle) (17:46): I was preselected to run for Labor in the federal seat of Fremantle while I was still working for the United Nations overseas. One of the main motivations for coming back to Australia to stand for parliament was to help to improve asylum seekers policy that had for so long been misused by the government of Prime Minister John Howard for cynical political purposes.

On my first day back to Australia on 20 June 2007, I gave a speech in the Fremantle Town Hall to mark World Refugee Day. I had worked a lot with refugees during my time with the UN, especially in Kosovo and Gaza. I had seen Kosovars streaming back from neighbouring countries to their burnt-out homes in Kosovo to live in tents in the middle of the harshest winter on record. I worked with Palestinian refugees in the Middle East who had been forced from their homes in 1948 and 1967 and who were living in appallingly dire conditions for decades in the hope that they would one day return to their homes. [Read more…]


Daniel Andrews Offers To Settle Nauru Refugees In Victoria

The Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, has offered to settle and house the families who were brought to Australia but now face return to Nauru.

In a letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull today, Andrews said: “I write to inform you that Victoria will accept full responsibility for all of these children and their families including the provision of housing, health, education and welfare services.”

Andrews said the circumstances were “clearly exceptional” and “a political argument is of no benefit” to the families concerned. [Read more…]


High Court Rejects Refugee Challenge To Offshore Processing And Resettlement

The High Court has rejected an attempt to strike down Australia’s policy of offshore processing, detention and resettlement.

In essence, the High Court has found that the asylum seeker arrangements with Nauru are legal. Asylum-seekers now face deportation to Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

The court found that the Bangladeshi woman who brought the case had standing but rejected her substantive argument. [Read more…]