The Australian Greens have introduced a bill today to create a special visa class to bring Afghan interpreters, who have worked with our troops in their home country, to Australia.
"Recognising the amazing work of Afghan interpreters who risk their lives to keep our troops safe is the only right thing for us to do,” the Greens’ immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“The bill that I have introduced seeks to give protection to interpreters who put themselves in extremely dangerous situations day in and day out to help our forces in Afghanistan.
“The program would see 600 positions made available to these people, along with their families, each year so that they can come to Australia as we draw down from Afghanistan over the next two years.
“Experts who have worked for the Coalition forces in Afghanistan for a minimum of 12 months would qualify for the program and I think almost every Australian would be more than happy to welcome them.
“Interpreters in particular are targeted by the Taliban because of the crucial role they play in the theatre of war and, despite that, these brave people still offer to help us.
“Canada, New Zealand and the United States are already doing this and the fact that we haven’t done it before now is a glaring omission in the Government’s approach to creating a positive relationship between Australia and Afghanistan.
“I urge both sides of politics to work with us to enact this legislation.”
Media Contact: Noah Schultz-Byard 0427 604 760