Christian refugee advocates have said proposed laws aimed at banning refugees permanently from ever obtaining a visa to Australia will "create further fear, uncertainty and trauma" among those who have ever been transferred to the regional processing centres on Nauru and Papua New Guinea's Manus Island.

Under the proposed legislative amendments announced by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton on Sunday, asylum seekers on Manus or Nauru from 19th July, 2013, would be banned from any sort of Australian visa - including for tourist, business and family purposes - for the rest of their lives. This includes people who have been found to be refugees.

Misha Coleman, executive officer of the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce, said the proposed legislation shows the Federal Government "clearly has no plan". "Mr Turnbull has just not been able to find a solution, an alternative nor a long term plan. Introducing legislation to keep people locked up forever will never be a solution that the Christian members of the taskforce will accept”.

Ms Coleman said the ACRT, which represents more than 930 entities across Australia, will this week be releasing a package of policy alternatives.

"The Government’s policy of offshore detention is in disarray - they need to find a resolution for people who are withering away in the offshore camps, but the Government can only come up with punitive plans to distract from the fact that they don’t have a plan, they don’t know what they are doing."

She said that in the meantime, churches around Australia would be calling on senators to block the legislation.

On Sunday, asked whether banning refugees from ever taking a holiday or obtaining business visa for Australia was fair, Mr Turnbull said the country was sending a "clear, unequivocal message and that is what the situation requires".

~ www.acrt.com.au