Advocates Urge Labor: Don’t Save Offshore Processing

Refugee Action Coalition


Refugee advocates have called on the parliamentary Labor Party not to support any Coalition legislation  aimed at saving offshore processing from a successful High Court challenge.

The Human Rights Legal Centre’s challenge seems to have exposed what so many felt for a long time – that offshore processing is illegal. It certainly has exploded the lie that offshore processing is the
responsibility of Nauru and PNG.

The High Court challenge comes at a time when offshore processing is also facing a Constitutional challenge in the Supreme Court of PNG.

“The issue of offshore processing will be vigorously debated at the Labor conference in July,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“Resolutions will be put to the conference to end offshore processing and close Manus Island and Nauru. The recent ACTU conference unanimously adopted policy to end offshore processing.

“Any support for the Coalition in the present circumstances would not only preempt Labor conference discussion, and possible rejection of offshore processing; it would be regarded as explicit support for the
corrupt detention system and the corrupt Nauru government.

“The shocking revelations of physical and sexual abuse on Nauru have exposed the horror of the offshore regime that the Coalition is scrambling to legitimise. The detention regime on Nauru is crumbling
under the weight of the corrupt government and the scale of abuses being maintained by the Australian government and Transfield.

“Even as concerns mounted for the welfare of baby Asha, sent back to Nauru two weeks ago, this morning, the Coalition government has sent another 40 men, women and children back to the hell of Nauru.

“The parliamentary Labor Party has an opportunity to break the toxic bi-partisan support for offshore processing that violated human rights and inflicted torture and misery. A number of Labor politicians
including leader Bill Shorten have referred to mistakes over asylum seekers that Labor made when it was in government – restarting offshore processing was one of them.”

“Labor has an opportunity to rectify one of its most serious mistakes. We urge the Labor leaders to seize that opportunity – don’t throw the Liberals a lifeline.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 04517 275 713

Rallies have been called to “Bring Back Baby Asha” in Melbourne, Thursday 25 June, Federation Square 6.30pm; and Sydney, 5.30pm, Tuesday 30 June at Sydney Town Hall Square.

Saturday 27 June: Refugee Action Coalition forum, “Breaking the Bi-Partisan Cruelty on Refugees, with Manus whistleblower; Labor Senator Sue Lines and Michael Thompson, Unions for Refugees. (Sat 27
June, Building 2, level 7 room 44.)