Greens Candidate for Sydney, Sylvie Ellsmore, has called on the Labor Party – including Deputy Leader of the ALP, Tanya Plibersek - to stand with the Greens in calling for an immediate transfer of asylum seekers from Manus Island to Australia.
This week, Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court ruled the Australian Government funded Manus Island detention centre was illegal and unconstitutional. The centre will now be closed. However both the Coalition and Labor have stated they will not allow the nearly 1000 asylum seekers to be transferred to Australia - despite the majority being given refugee status.
Greens candidate Sylvie Ellsmore said “A number of left wing Labor MPs have this week called for the Labor Party to end the ‘sick game’ that is off-shore mandatory detention of asylum seekers.
“Thankfully at least some Labor Party members recognise regional processing has failed. All these policies have delivered is the torture of people who are seeking protection from Australia.
“Labor must act now or this sick game will only escalate. Offshore detention has led to escalating breaches of human rights, but also has wide and long-term consequences for the role of Australia in the Pacific.
“We cannot allow the Liberal Government to offer inducements to another nation to override its Constitution. Neither can we allow the Liberal Government to go in search of a different vulnerable country in the region to induce.
“This is the 21st century and Australia must not act like a neo-colonial power. Recognising the self-determination and sovereignty of our less powerful neighbors is central to an international system governed by the rule of law.
“We are calling on the Minister and the Shadow Minister to commit to working with the PNG government to quickly comply with the PNG Supreme Court and find a solution that accord’s with Australia’s legal obligations as well.
“That can and must mean admitting the failure of regional processing, and commitment to bring asylum seekers to Australia now,” Ms Ellsmore said.
Media contact: Mark Riboldi 0433 753 376