BORDER PROTECTION AND REFUGEES
WHAT I BELIEVE
The Australian government’s treatment of true refugees in the past and present has been appalling. For me this problem was highlighted by the recent event with Novak Djokovic who was locked up in a hotel-turned-immigration detention centre. In his own words he said he was a prisoner. Djokovic was released after a few days; his fellow immigration detainees had been there for many years. Like always money and position buys your freedom. Personal freedom and bodily autonomy is something I will fight for in Parliament with all my effort. Most of these people fleeing their birth country are doing so because they are oppressed, endangered and/or dying of starvation.
They just want to live and be free. Can I say if I were in their place, I would do the same thing to gain freedom, protection and to live. For me one thing we can change straight away is the time frame it takes to process a person who is wanting to call Australia home as a true refugee.
Absolutely we need to maintain Sovereignty and control of our borders, but we need to do it in a way that is humane and just, while strengthening our international relationships.
Treating people like humans, instead of placing them in the too hard basket and locking them away for years is not the way a fellow human should treat another human being.
MY ACTION PLAN
1.Clear Australia’s backlog of visa and immigration assessments by properly funding the relevant department to process them. When this is accomplished with a shorter time frame it will save the taxpayer millions and provide a humane situation for those seeking residency.
2.Immediately and safely transition refugees out of detention. Stop penalising them purely for trying to survive and recognise their capacity to contribute
3.Participate in, or setup, international programs to help people at the source and at waypoints rather than just imprisoning people who try to make it to Australia
4.We are desperately short of workers in many areas, offer refugees and those who really need our help opportunities instead of locking them up.
5.We need to maintain our Sovereignty by controlling our borders, we just need to do it in a just and humane way. Education is the key. I would seek to have this key area taught in our schools and learning areas, so the next generation can make informed decisions, so that we can grow as a compassionate, just and caring nation.