28th June, 2012
The Australian Christian Lobby is calling on all parties to pass a bill on asylum seekers, saying it represents a "reasonable compromise" in stopping the growing number of refugee deaths at sea.
The Oakeshott Bill - which was passed in the House of Representatives amid much soul-searching yesterday - is currently before the Senate. With all parties so far refusing to compromise on their positions, it looks so far unlikely a solution will be found before Parliament rises for its six week winter break tonight.
Jim Wallace, managing director of the ACL, says that more than 300 deaths at sea since 2010 "is simply too many for us to see the Parliament rise for the winter break without at least a temporary solution".
He says that while Coalition concerns over the details of the 'Malaysia solution' are "legitimate", "that should only sharpen theirs and others scrutiny of its operation". He also criticised the Green's continued opposition to offshore processing.
"(F)or the Greens to maintain their obstinate demand for onshore processing, when the attraction of that is contributing to the deaths, is ridiculous and wholly hypocritical.”
- DAVID ADAMS