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AUSTRALIA HAS A DUTY OF CARE TO PROTECT VULNERABLE PEOPLE ON MANUS ISLAND - Media Release, Tuesday 31 October 2017

As a matter of urgency, I call on Minister Dutton to ask New Zealand to immediately settle those asylum seekers on Manus Island who will not be included in the US resettlement deal.

The government should have accepted New Zealand’s offer of settlement when it was first made.

I cannot understand how New Zealand does not fit with a regional resettlement framework. They are our neighbours and are willing to help settle these refugees.

This government’s treatment of asylum seekers and refugees is an absolute disgrace. Under Australia’s care, the health and wellbeing of asylum seekers and refugees has suffered beyond belief.

Australia needs to meet its obligations to protect people who sought asylum under international law.

This is a humanitarian crisis that the government has created on its own. Minister Dutton has had four years to settle these men - the majority of whom are refugees. This is an absolute failure by Australia.

Australia has a duty of care to protect these vulnerable men. There may be more deaths if the Australian government does not resolve the dangerous situation it is creating today by closing its detention centre unilaterally.

Now that Australia has been elected to the UN Human Rights Council, we need to start practicing what we preach.

Australia has been improved by the refugees and migrants who have come here to build a better life and contribute to our strong and vibrant community. 

Where has our sense of humanity gone?

I stand with the many Australians that have contacted me to say #Notinourname.

TUESDAY, 31 OCTOBER 2017

MEDIA CONTACT:  TAIMUS WERNER-GIBBINGS 0429 820 344