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The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, will introduce a Private Member’s Bill this morning that would provide for a fairer, more sustainable and more humane approach to asylum seekers and refugees.

Download a copy of the bill, explanatory memorandum, and fact sheet below ...

Mr Wilkie will introduce the bill at approximately 10:15am this morning in the House of Representatives and then be available afterwards for comment with the Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, who is seconding the bill.

WHEN: 10:45am TODAY 18 June
WHERE: : Senate Courtyard, Parliament House CANBERRA

“The Liberal and Labor parties are in a race to the bottom when it comes to asylum seekers,” Mr Wilkie said. “What we need is an approach that’s humane and developed in conjunction with other countries in the Asia Pacific region.

“That’s why I’m introducing legislation today that would establish a better way forward. This bill should be seen by the Government and the Opposition as an alternative to the current cruelty that’s taking place in offshore detention centres.

“This bill enables the establishment of a network of centres, located in and run by Asia Pacific countries including Australia, where asylum seekers can go to be registered, have their immediate humanitarian needs met and lodge a preference for country of re-settlement.  If the asylum seeker selects Australia, and is within the specified quota, this bill establishes a process for assessing their claim in Australia with appropriate oversight, limited timeframes and judicial review. The bill does not allow mandatory detention and prioritises the applicant’s immediate needs and refugee and international human rights law.
“This bill has been developed in accordance with UNHCR guidelines and crucially is consistent with international human rights law, something the Government and Opposition have been wilfully ignoring.

“I have also consulted extensively with the refugee sector to develop a proposal that is not only fair and humane but also workable.

“I ask the Coalition and Labor to take a look at this alternative proposal so that we can open a discussion about a better way forward, rather than the current miserable and cruel bipartisan policy.”

Authorised by Andrew Wilkie MP 188 Collins St Hobart

Download a copy of the bill, explanatory memorandum, and fact sheet ...