Opinion pieces, speeches & transcripts

Speech at National Conference on asylum motion

December 17, 2018

Thank you Wayne and thank you Shayne. I am very proud to second this motion and to support the work you have done to put this platform before the conference. Shayne, you deserve all of our support and appreciation.

Because today we come together as a party to take some big steps forward, and I can’t improve on Shayne’s language in setting out the shocking failures of the current government and the concrete steps this amendment sets out to help people get out of the hellhole that has been their indefinite detention and the government has neglected their human rights, their dignity and frankly their humanity. So Shayne I’m so keen to support this amendment and also your work in leading us back into the Parliament in February when we vote in the House of Representatives when we vote on the urgent medical treatment bill, and make it into law.

I also want to say this: this morning our leader Bill Shorten gave a very important speech. The commitments he set out transformed the lives of thousands of people offshore. People who have now been given a safe path to resettlement, and we’ve also seen the announcement around community sponsorship.

The Labor Party has grappled seriously with these issues and put forward a platform which will give more help to more people.

I’m so proud of what Bill announced this morning and I’m even prouder of the way in which he spoke. He made clear that for Labor helping dispossessed people, people fleeing persecution, isn’t a matter of cheap politics and commentary as Minister Dutton seems to believe. It is a moral imperative.