Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews’ acknowledgement that Australia is in talks with New Zealand to resettle refugees still trapped in Australia’s offshore detention regime is a promising sign, but more needs to be done.
The statement comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s visit to Queenstown earlier this week to meet with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Sporting greats and human rights advocates Craig Foster and Sonny Bill Williams travelled with Amnesty to Queenstown to raise awareness of the issue, and to urge Scott Morrison to see this visit as an opportunity to accept the offer.
More than 1000 people took action in the lead up to the trip, with media coverage ranging from the Today Show to the Project. Our message, demanding that Scott Morrison and the Government accept the New Zealand offer was in print, on the airwaves, and on TV screens throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Because of this, our voices were heard. The Government has gone from outright refusal, to consideration, and now negotiation. But we can’t stop now.
Refugees need certainty around their futures. After eight years and $10 billion spent, there isn’t another moment to spare.
We’re asking that the Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews:
- Finalises negotiations with New Zealand to ensure refugees are resettled as a matter of urgency
- Expands any deal reached to refugees beyond the medevac cohort, to include all refugees trapped in Australia’s offshore detention regime that are not in another resettlement pathway
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