The Australian Greens will go to the election with a policy of closing down the detention camps on Manus Island and Nauru and holding people in community detention on the mainland while their claims for protection are assessed in Australia.
We are calling for the closure of the camps on Manus Island and Nauru so that the families there can be integrated into the Australian community and allowed to flourish. The government is spending billions of dollars on these camps, with no exit strategy.
The Parliamentary Budget Office has shown that our policy would save $2.9233 billion over the forward estimates and $8.4745 billion over the next ten years. Just think of what that amount of money could be spent on. We should be using it to improve health and education outcomes here in Australia, guaranteeing a better future for the next generation. Instead, the government is blowing that money on exposing men, women and children to abuse on Nauru and Manus Island.
The conditions in these centres are appalling and the government is forcing thousands of people to live in squalor and fear. The Greens want to see the men, women and children who are in need of protection brought back to Australia so that they can live in safety.
When it comes to people seeking asylum in our region, we want to see a fair and efficient system put in place to assess people's claims where they are, so that those in need can be brought to Australia safely.
It's time for us to close the offshore detention camps and start treating people the way we would want to be treated.