Tuesday August 10 2005 14:00pm WST
For Immediate Release
"The new Senate should vehemently protest the Prime Minister's Island Excision Regulation Change, signed off a few weeks ago 'on the quiet' by the Governor-General for the Immigration Minister Senator Amanda Vanstone," WA Refugee lobby group Project SafeCom said today.
Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett has listed a motion of disallowance for the regulation changes in the Senate.
"With the regulation change, signed off on July 21, more than a thousand islands and parts of Australia, are "not really Australia" when you're running away from your country, seeking protection in our country, and attempting to reach our shores by boat. The drafting of the UN Refugee Convention itself was sparked by countries such as the USA repelling boatloads of Jewish refugees from their harbours. There's nothing "illegal" about this, and it's time that the Prime Minister discovers that," spokesman Jack H Smit said.
"Senators such as Queensland's Barnaby Joyce, Family First's Steve Fielding should use their courage and independence to cross the floor. Now is also the time for Senators such as Judith Troeth, Brett Mason, George Brandis to show whether they are true-blue Aussies or whether they prefer to just pander to John Howard's shocking ways and means of trying to keep refugees out as if coming here is not their right and privilege under the Convention."
"John Howard may well claim a majority in the Senate since this week, but this does not give him a mandate to enact seriously Un-Australian legislation, or act quietly and act like a con-man to future refugees arriving in Australia under their International right, in an attempt to warp their exercise of those rights."
"The Prime Minister may well think he runs an Australia-based fiefdom, but he doesn't - he does not run Australia with a bunch of cow-towing Liberals and National MP's, who can determine what's Australian territory and what isn't."
For more information:
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]