The Liberal and Labor parties have spent years locking up people in offshore hellholes. In recent weeks, the impact of this policy on children trapped on Nauru has been condemned by doctors and the United Nations.
In response to this health crisis, the Greens and cross-party MPs will introduce a bill to intervene and urgently bring children and their families from Nauru to Australia so they can access medical and psychological assistance.
This is an important first step in our ongoing campaign to end the cruel policy of offshore detention once and for all.
All of us, including people fleeing war-torn countries, have a right to live free from danger, to be treated with dignity and compassion and to be given help when we need it.
But, in a dark chapter in Australia’s history, Liberal and Labor governments have spent years locking up people in indefinite detention and separating vulnerable families who have asked for our help.
The Greens have always been committed to closing the camps, and to treating all refugees and people seeking asylum with dignity and respect. Now we’re seeing support from others in the parliament and, with your help, we can get this over the line.
Information about the bill
What does this bill do?
This bill would force the Australian Government to bring every child being detained on Nauru to Australia for medical and psychological assessment and treatment. They would all be here in Australia under the protection of Australian doctors and Australian hospitals. The bill is designed to pass through the parliament quickly, with the support of all MPs. It will provide the urgent assistance needed by children on Nauru. We urge the Labor and Liberal parties to support it.
What about families?
Our bill will ensure that children are supported and that they are accompanied by their family members.
Whose bill is this?
This bill is co-sponsored by Adam Bandt, Andrew Wilkie, Rebecca Sharkie. The Greens will support this bill in the House of Representatives and in the Senate, and we urge the Liberal and Labor parties to do the same.
Will the Liberal MPs who have spoken out support it in Parliament?
We hope so, but they have made no public commitment to vote with us. We know that politicians in the Liberal and Labor parties are ashamed of their parties’ stance on offshore detention. We encourage them to support this bill.
Does this bill end offshore detention?
Not in this first stage. This cross-party bill is specifically designed as an immediate, direct intervention to bring kids from Nauru to Australia for medical and psychological assessment and support, as recommended by doctors. It has been developed to ensure the Liberals and Labor can support it as a matter of urgency. The Greens will continue to strongly campaign for the camps on Manus and Nauru to be closed, and for all the men, women and children seeking asylum to be offered permanent residency in Australia.
What is the Labor Party proposing?
The ALP’s proposal is an inadequate response to the crisis on Nauru. It would still require ministerial sign off to bring children to Australia on a case-by-case basis. This means it would still allow Peter Dutton to override doctors’ orders once he provided a statement to Parliament and sought a second medical opinion.