Parliamentary speeches

People seeking asylum & indefinite detention

October 28, 2020

Seven years is a long time, and no doubt it feels so much longer for refugees who have been detained indefinitely. It's been seven years since New Zealand offered hope to those refugees in Papua New Guinea and Nauru to resettle them in New Zealand. So today we must say enough is enough and that the Australian government must do the deal, as more than 60,000 Australians have urged us, backed in by Amnesty International, Craig Foster and Sonny Bill Williams. This morning, I received this petition, along with many colleagues—the member for Barton, the member for Griffith, the member for Macarthur, the member for Cowan, the member for Bean, the member for Fowler, the member for Warringah and Senators Faruqi and Hanson-Young.

There are hard questions that we need to grapple with when it comes to the world that we live in in terms of people who are displaced and need our help. But this question should not be hard if we listen to our hearts and to the generosity of Aunty Violet, who welcomed us to country this morning and called on the Prime Minister and his government to act. So, Prime Minister, listen to her and listen to Sonny Bill. As he said, sign the paper; get it done. This is bigger than politics. We can—indeed, we must—secure our borders, but we can do so without abandoning our humanity.