Lady Cilento

Australia has voluntarily assumed humanitarian obligations to those fleeing persecution. Labor's policy aims to help more people and to get them here safely to settle in Australia. Indefinite detention is no part of Labor's policy—nor is holding people in conditions that are inadequate, unsafe or unfit.

 

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Ms BUTLER (Griffith) (16:15):  Australia has voluntarily assumed humanitarian obligations to those fleeing persecution. Labor's policy aims to help more people and to get them here safely to settle in Australia. Indefinite detention is no part of Labor's policy—nor is holding people in conditions that are inadequate, unsafe or unfit.

I do not want to reopen the route from Java to Christmas Island, and nor do I want to see preventable deaths. I also do not believe you should respond to 1,200 deaths by ruining 1,600 lives.

Offshore processing can be done quickly, safely and humanely, with people being resettled to start new lives. But the Turnbull government has comprehensively failed on each of those measures. You only have to read the Moss review or last year's Senate inquiry report to know that.

Recently, in my electorate, outside the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital, hundreds of people gathered to say that Baby Asha should not be returned to Nauru. I have visited the gathering twice. Baby Asha's care must be in accordance with the treating doctors' advice.

I thank the medical, administrative and support staff at the LCCH for their work in seeking to protect Baby Asha. I also thank Ros McLennan and Ged Kearney, along with the Queensland union movement. The passion that those people bring to this situation is critical and has been critical, and I congratulate them.

All refugees and asylum seekers under Australia's direct and indirect care, both in Australia and offshore, need to be treated with dignity and respect.

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