FRANK BRENNAN. Asylum policies and the election.

The following is an extract from a speech by Frank Brennan at the Yass Catholic Parish Pot Luck Dinner on Saturday 28 May 2016. The full text of the speech is in the link below. John Menadue


None of the parties likely to form government after the election has an asylum policy which is acceptable. I urge people of goodwill when casting their vote to consider the desirability of a Parliament which is not readily controlled by the government of the day, and which therefore might make the new government enact a more humane policy. I encourage people to cast a vote for a member or senators (whether members of the major parties or not) who have a commitment to reviewing the existing government policy, providing a more humane outcome both for those presently being held on Nauru and Manus Island as well as for those waiting in the Australian community without adequate work and welfare rights. I would hope that we could all then start the long term co-operative work needed to increase our humanitarian migration quota and to develop a regional solution with neighbouring countries assisted by the good offices of UNHCR, while accepting even with a heavy heart and conscientious reservation that the boats will be stopped. We need to negotiate the ethical dividend for stopping the boats.

Frank Brennan SJ is a Professor of Law at the Australian Catholic University. 


Frank Brennan SJ is the CEO of Catholic Social Services Australia and the Rector of Newman.

This entry was posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to FRANK BRENNAN. Asylum policies and the election.

  1. There can be no ‘ethical dividend’ for stopping the boats. Malcolm Fraser’s Orderly Departure Program settled 70,000 Vietnamese asylum-seekers who would otherwise have come by a dangerous boat journey. It needs bi-partisan cooperation and agreement with Malaysia and Indonesia, with the help of the UNHCR, to process them quickly in those countries before they take the option of the boat journey. They can then be flown to Australia to be accepted as refugees. There is no reason why this cannot be achieved, but neither Labor nor the LNP are guided by ethics on this issue. The Greens are promoting this policy, however, and they give me hope that our democratic values still have a chance in an increasingly ugly Australia.

Comments are closed.