The following is an extract from the speech that Michael Osborne, Greens candidate for the seat of Newcastle, delivered to the Refugee Action Network Newcastle Election Forum on the 9th August, 2013.
If you’d like more information about the Greens’ commitment to the compassionate treatment of refugees, you can find out more about the Greens policy position on refugees and asylum seekers here.
“Australia has a long and proud history of settling refugees, after World War II, in the aftermath of the Vietnam War and in the last few decades from places around the world.
We have the capacity, the compassion and the understanding of the social, economic and cultural contributions refugees make to Australia and should be welcoming people fleeing persecution.
Neither of the old parties is offering a compassionate, genuine or affordable ‘solution’ to save lives at sea. Their ‘solution’ is about punishment.
Australia cannot possibly punish people enough to stop them seeking protection in whatever way they can, but we can cause them damage and despair in the process of trying.”