Nation Of Immigrants Needs Humane Solution

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29th October 2009, 02:16pm - Views: 1036

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Press Release



29 October 2009

Nation Of Immigrants Needs Humane Solution

The Australian Government must immediately find a humane solution for the 78 Sri

Lankan asylum seekers aboard the Oceanic Viking, according to Unions NSW.

As the asylum seekers spend their 11th day aboard the Oceanic Viking, Unions NSW

Secretary Mark Lennon supported calls to process them on Australian soil, under

Australian law.

"The Prime Minister has a fantastic opportunity to step up and show us the high road to a

humane solution," Unions NSW Secretary, Mark Lennon said.

"This debate is becoming disturbingly shrill. Australia is a signatory to the United Nations

Convention on Refugees, Indonesia is not.

"These people are desperate. Allow them to be processed under our laws."

Mr Lennon said the Rudd Government had done much to improve Australia's treatment of

asylum seekers, particularly its efforts too ensure children were no longer locked up.

But the trade union movement would not sit by and watch the public debate degenerate.

Mr Lennon said the strong position taken by the likes of AWU National Secretary, Paul

Howes and former Unions NSW Secretary John Robertson was typical of the support

asylum seekers could expect from organised labour.

"Unions NSW has a long history of advocating humane asylum seeker policies and we

were pivotal in the establishment of Labor for Refugees," Mr Lennon said.

"Unions believe in a tolerant, compassionate and multicultural nation and will publicly

advocate humane policies and solutions," Mr Lennon concluded.

Contact: Mark Lennon 0427 231 800

or Nick Lucchinelli 0422 229 032

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