Refugee Protection Bill breaks the impasse
Posted June 18, 2018
Cathy has seconded the Refugee Protection Bill 2018, introduced by Andrew Wilkie MP. There is community support for an alternative to the existing refugee processing system.
Ms McGOWAN (Indi) (10:34): Our treatment of asylum seekers is an important and live issue in my electorate. It's moved beyond national security or breaking the business model to an issue of conscience, values and national identity. My community have asked me to work on an alternative, and I'm delighted today to second this motion, which I think does exactly what my community have asked.
In April this year, 340 members of Rural Australians for Refugees gathered in Wodonga in my electorate. At their conference, they called on the Australian government to come up with a policy on people seeking Australian protection, which this bill does. Rural Australians for Refugees have a very clear message for this parliament. They say that rural Australians care and that they have ideas, and that we have solutions, we can do better, we should do better and we are better. They also say that Rural Australians for Refugees are willing partners in finding the solutions. I'm delighted to welcome today to the parliament my guest, the president of Rural Australians for Refugees, Marie Sellstrom. Thank you for your work and that of my constituents.
Members of parliament, this has the support of Australia. This has the support of rural Australia. It's a really important piece of legislation that actually creates an alternative and breaks the impasse that we have been experiencing. It brings to parliament, through me and the member for Denison, the support of our communities. We're now calling on the Australian people to do exactly what the member for Denison said. Get behind this and really work with your members of parliament. We have an alternative. We have a way ahead. We can do better and we are better.