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.