House of Representatives- Petition: Political Asylum 2008

I present two petitions that have been approved by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Petitions. The petitions concern an issue on which a number of petitions have already been presented, and I note that the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship has previously responded to these and that his response was tabled in the House on 15 September 2008.

I present two petitions that have been approved by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Petitions. The petitions concern an issue on which a number of petitions have already been presented, and I note that the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship has previously responded to these and that his response was tabled in the House on 15 September 2008.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the petitioners, who are from St Augustine’s Anglican Church and Bayside Deanery Meeting of the Mothers Union, in Mentone in my electorate, for their commitment to achieving justice for those who have sought political asylum in this country. I am pleased that, since the election, the Rudd government has been able to fulfil the hopes of so many people around Australia who understand that, as a matter of policy, it has never been a choice between secure borders and the just treatment of refugees. As the Rudd government and the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship in the Rudd government, Senator Evans, have shown, it is possible to achieve both those objectives—that is, secure borders and the just treatment of refugees.

The government were elected last year on a commitment to reforming the treatment of those seeking the protection of our country. Acting on the commitment that we made at the last election, the government have ended the Pacific solution, have been able to close the so-called offshore processing centres on Nauru and Manus Island and have resolved the ‘legacy’ cases, which were a headache left for the present government by the former government.

Being fair and humane does not mean that we are undermining our national security. We have maintained and enhanced a strong border security regime while honouring international treaty obligations and our commitment to the rule of law. We have kept in place the system of mandatory detention while ensuring that no longer, as occurred under the former government, will children be kept behind barbed wire.

The petitions read as follows—

To the Honourable the Speaker and the Members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled:

WHEREAS the 1998 Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne carried without dissent the following Motion:

“That this Synod regrets the Government’s adoption of procedures for certain people seeking political asylum in Australia which exclude them from all public income support while withholding permission to work, thereby creating a group of beggars dependent on the Churches and charities for food and the necessities of life;

and calls upon the Federal government to review such procedures immediately and remove all practices which are manifestly inhumane and in some cases in contravention of our national obligations as a signatory of the UN Covenant on Civil & Political Rights”

WE, therefore, the individual, undersigned Attendees at the St Augustine’s Anglican Church petition the House of Representatives in support of the above mentioned Motion.

AND we, as in duty bound will ever pray &c.

from 33 citizens

To the Honourable the Speaker and the Members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled:

WHEREAS the 1998 Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne carried without dissent the following Motion:

“That this Synod regrets the Government’s adoption of procedures for certain people seeking political asylum in Australia which exclude them from all public income support while withholding permission to work, thereby creating a group of beggars dependent on the Churches and charities for food and the necessities of life;

and calls upon the Federal government to review such procedures immediately and remove all practices which are manifestly inhumane and in some cases in contravention of our national obligations as a signatory of the UN Covenant on Civil & Political Rights”

WE, therefore, the individual, undersigned Attendees at the Bayside Deanery Meeting of the Mothers Union, Mentone VIC petition the House of Representatives in support of the above mentioned Motion.

AND we, as in duty bound will ever pray.