- Also see SUSTAINABLE POPULATION - GLOBAL policy.
Australia’s rapid population growth is not caused by refugees or asylum seekers. Refugees, including asylum seekers, make up only around five per cent of Australia’s population growth, and are being used as a distraction by federal governments in order to quietly maintain a record permanent (combined skilled and family reunion) immigration program - by plane. This unsustainable immigration is driven by the desire of large employers and their representatives for more customers and cheaper labour, as well as a larger 'aggregate' (but not per capita) GDP statistic for governments to brag about.
Refugee and asylum issues are complex and global. We would further consult with experts on this matter, if elected.
Australia should protect genuine refugees from persecution, whilst having an overriding aim to help people live sustainably in peace and harmony in their homeland and region.
Policy Methods (Federal)
To help achieve this Australia should:
- Maintain an annual permanent refugee intake of around 14,000-20,000, according to circumstances.(1)
- Consider further refugee and asylum seeker requests and claims, including temporary asylum, according to circumstances.
- Provide support for the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (UN Refugee Convention), including Article 1(c), which provides that refugee status can cease where circumstances in connection with refugee status have ceased to exist.(2)
- Recognise and address the root causes of the world’s refugee migration, including rapid population growth pressures, resource scarcity, corruption, poverty, conflict and war. (also see foreign aid funding in SUSTAINABLE POPULATION - GLOBAL policy)
- Remove all asylum seeker children from detention as soon as practicably possible.
- Recognise that the first preference of genuine refugees is to live in peace in their region, and that given the scale of the global refugee crisis, foreign aid to achieve this can be a more sustainable and effective solution than permanently resettling people into new countries.(3)(also see foreign aid funding in SUSTAINABLE POPULATION - GLOBAL policy)
- Work to prevent asylum seeker boat journeys and deaths at sea.(4)
- This intake is one of the top three per capita UN-facilitated permanent resettlements of refugees in the world, and would be counted within Australia’s total annual permanent immigration program of around 70,000 per annum (see SUSTAINABLE POPULATION & IMMIGRATION policy).
- The UN works to return displaced peoples where safe to do so, such as to the former Yugoslavia (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina): CLICK HERE
- World Vision CEO Reverend Tim Costello says “the [refugee] intake is the pimple on the hippopotamus” and “not really the main game.” More on this in our 2015 media release: Refugee posturing morally misguided
- Within the context of a future government adopting Sustainable Australia’s targeted foreign aid policies (see SUSTAINABLE POPULATION – GLOBAL) designed to tackle root causes of refugee migration such as poverty and rapid population growth, we would likely provide support for that government's specific policies designed to stop asylum seeker boats. We maintain an open mind about whether asylum seekers should be processed onshore or offshore and would consult with experts on this matter where appropriate, if elected.
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