Refugee Death Fails to Sway Policy Defence; Fisher MP Backs Federal Govt Stance

Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia), October 7, 2017 | Go to article overview

Refugee Death Fails to Sway Policy Defence; Fisher MP Backs Federal Govt Stance


BILL

HOFFMAN

bill.hoffman@scnews.com.au

FISHER MP Andrew Wallace has defended the Turnbull government's refugee policy in the wake of the latest death on Manus Island, claiming it had been successful in reducing arrivals by sea and preventing drownings.

The death of a Tamil refugee this week who was found hanging next to the kitchen in the Lorengau Hospital brings to seven the number of detainees to die on the island, sparking outrage from advocates who say highly-traumatised men were going untreated for mental illnesses.

Jane Keogh, a 72-year-old Australian Brigidine nun who is on Manus trying to support those in most need, has been posting on social media horrific accounts of their conditions.

"I accept that the Australian Government does have obligations under the UN Refugee Convention and we are complying with those obligations," Mr Wallace said.

"The Australian Government must balance these rights with its own responsibilities to protect its borders and sovereignty.

"Importantly, the Australian Government under the policies of prime ministers Howard, Abbott and Turnbull have stopped the illegal people smuggling trade and stopped the 50,000 unauthorised arrivals by boat which under the Rudd, Gillard, Rudd Labor governments resulted in at least 1200 people drowning at sea. Since then, the Turnbull government has closed down 18 onshore detention centres and there are now no children living in detention. …

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