The Anglican Diocese of Wangaratta has called on Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, to represent their concerns about Government refugee policy.
At the Anglican Cathedral today, Bishop John Parkes will present Ms McGowan with a letter from the Synod calling on major political parties to work together to reach a fair and just solution.
“Treatment of refugees is an election issue in Indi, and I welcome the Bishop’s strong advocacy,” Ms McGowan said.
A recent survey conducted by Reachtel in Indi showed more than 63 per cent of people agreed that after refugee claims were assessed, and people found to be genuine refugees, they should be allowed to stay in Australia.
“We need an immigration system that respects international law, is fair, and ensures people's health, safety and dignity is maintained,” she said. “The Australian government can and must do far better. A genuine change of policy intention is essential to improve the ability of the centres and local community services, to initially support and then quickly and humanely assess and re-settle genuine asylum seekers.”
While Ms McGowan supports the Government and Opposition’s policy of off-shore processing, she believes it must be conducted in a compassionate and timely manner.
“The Government has a right to set policy, however it must be conducted in a way consistent with human rights conventions,” she said.