BEHROUZ BOOCHANI

15 November 2019

SENATOR THE HON KRISTINA KENEALLY
DEPUTY LABOR LEADER IN THE SENATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
 
BEHROUZ BOOCHANI
 
Labor welcomes news Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian refugee, journalist and award-winning writer, has had the opportunity to depart Papua New Guinea.
 
We look forward for Mr Boochani having the opportunity to permanently resettle in a third country as soon as possible, wherever that may be.
 
Labor has been calling on the third term Morrison Government to resettle eligible refugees in PNG and Nauru for close to six years.
 
In recent weeks, we have seen refugees in PNG and Nauru resettle in Canada under the country’s community sponsorship program thanks to the generous support of Canadian sponsors – as well as Australians living there.
 
Refugees have been languishing in indefinite detention for six years because of Peter Dutton’s sheer incompetence to negotiate practical and durable third country resettlement options. 
 
Labor strongly supports the US refugee resettlement deal and encourages all refugees who have been offered resettlement under that deal to accept the offer.
 
The Morrison Government should open discussions with New Zealand, negotiate appropriate conditions similar to that of the US deal, and accept their long standing offer to resettle eligible refugees.
 
New Zealand’s generous offer was first negotiated by former Prime Minister Julia Gillard and former New Zealand Prime Minister John Key in 2013.
 
It is clear Australia can have strong borders without being weak on humanity.