Abbott Government’s cruelty pushing refugees to breaking point

Monday, June 2, 2014

The cruelty of the Abbott Government's refugee policy is pushing people to breaking point and resulting in tragic situations, like that seen over the weekend when a Sri Lankan man took his own life, the Australian Greens have said.

"As a country, we failed this man. He came to Australia fearing for his life, he asked for our help and we failed him," the Green's immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

"The Government must explain exactly what it will do to guarantee that this doesn't happen again. The Department's review of community placement programs is simply a shuffling of the deckchairs on the Titanic.

"The truth is that the entire refugee system is designed to push people to breaking point and, tragically, that is what's happened here."

In Senate Estimates questioning, Immigration Department officials confirmed that people will be forced to live in limbo on Bridging Visas for up to three years. The Abbott Government then plans to keep refugees on Temporary Protection Visas indefinitely, compounding the fear and uncertainty that they're forced to live in.

"The Abbott Government must commit to processing people's asylum claims and giving them the protection that they deserve," Senator Hanson-Young said.

"The only way we can prevent tragedies like this is to end the war on refugees and recognise the humanitarian crisis that exists in our region.

"This tragic event was a direct result of a dysfunctional and cruel refugee system. As a wealthy, once generous nation, this sort of thing shouldn't happen in Australia."


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