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July 19, 2012


by refugeeactioncoalitionsydney

The Refugee Action Coalition (RAC NSW) has condemned the Minister for Immigration for dismissing calls for asylum seekers to be processed in Indonesia.

RAC’s submission to the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers (available here) stresses the importance that speedy processing in Indonesia be combined with guaranteed resettlement in Australia of those found to be refugees.

“We are dismayed but not surprised that the Minister has already ruled out processing in Indonesia. The Minister’s announcement has pre-empted the findings of the expert panel. He has turned the expert panel into a sham. Either it is a government set-up or it is set up to fail,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“The Minister’s rejection of processing asylum seekers in Indonesia and resettlement shows just how much the government’s push for off-shore processing is driven by domestic politics, not by concern for asylum seekers.

“Any ‘regional solution’ that does not guarantee resettlement in Australia is just a way of outsourcing Australia’s responsibilities to asylum seekers and turning poorer regional neighbours into dead end dumping grounds.

“Chris Bowen’s fixation on the policies of deterrence will only ensure that the pointless, toxic debate between Labor and the Coalition over off-shore processing will continue. The Labor government is about to miss another opportunity to implement a humanitarian policy.

“Pakistan has just announced that it intends to repatriate 2.7 million Afghan refugees by December this year. Combine this with the repression of Hazaras in Quetta and you have a push factor far bigger than any deterrence the Minister could manufacture.”

The Refugee Action Coalition (NSW) has called a rally on Sunday August 12, 1.00pm at Sydney Town Hall to protest against off-shore processing before the August sitting of federal parliament.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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