A Better Way – Greens announce plan to welcome 50,000 refugees a year | Australian Greens

A Better Way – Greens announce plan to welcome 50,000 refugees a year

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Australian Greens have unveiled a bold yet fiscally responsible vision to harness the nation building capacity that people seeking asylum represent, ahead of the 2016 Federal Election*.
By closing the detention camps on Manus Island and Nauru while welcoming 50,000 people seeking asylum per year, which includes 40,000 under the humanitarian intake and 10,000 under a new 'Skilled Refugee' programme, the plan would create a safe way for people in our region to seek asylum in Australia.
"Australia doesn't need to respond to people seeking our protection by turning our backs or locking them up -  there is a better way ," said Australian Greens Leader, Dr Richard Di Natale.
"Today the Greens are announcing a vision that would welcome a record number of people to live in safety in our community every year and recognise the contribution refugees have made to this country over generations and will continue to make. 
"Our bold plan would not only welcome 50,000 people per year and offer a safe way for people to seek asylum in Australia, it would also save the budget $160 million over the next four years," Di Natale said.
"For too long, the national political debate has portrayed migrants and people seeking asylum as a problem instead of an opportunity," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
"By offering 10,000 'Skilled Refugee' places per year through the skilled migration pathway, we will be helping to save lives while letting those very same people contribute to the future prosperity of our economy.
"Modern Australia was built by generations of hardworking, self-started people who came to our country in search of a better life. People want to protect their families and to give their children access to an education and a life free of violence. We should be allowing them to get on and do that in Australia.
"Using the savings from closing the offshore detention camps to build a genuine regional solution, which assesses people's claims for asylum where they are before flying them to Australia safely, will save thousands of lives.
"We need to get children out of immigration detention, including those who are on Nauru, and allow people to get on with rebuilding their lives in safety.
"The government's cruelty towards people seeking asylum has gone on for too long. It's time we treated others the way we would want to be treated and let them contribute to the future of our nation."
Media Contact:
Di Natale: Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600
Hanson-Young: Noah Schultz-Byard 0427 604 760