Back to All News

Greens say Paris attacks should inspire empathy with asylum seekers

The Australian Greens have welcomed the Syrian refugees beginning to arrive under Australia's emergency intake, cautioning the world against lashing out in anger over the horrific attacks in Paris.

"A united Australian community is much stronger in helping to defeat these threats than one that's divided. Hate is the problem here, it's not the answer," said Greens Leader Richard Di Natale.

"As a community we need to recognise that the people seeking refuge in Australia are fleeing the kind of violence and barbarism that we've seen in Paris.

"I'm encouraged that we've now seen, in the wake of these horrific attacks, some movement toward a lasting political solution in the Middle East.

"As for the intervention of the former prime minister - he needs to back off. To lash out in anger without a clear plan, objective or exit strategy would be a big mistake.

"We aren't going to stop terrorism simply by punishing people after they've committed crimes, we also need to focus on prevention - building social cohesion with community outreach and peer-to-peer programs is just so critical.

"One of the things that needs to happen as a matter of urgency is to shut off the rivers of gold that finance many of these horrendous organisations.

"This government has our support in bringing the perpetrators to justice and doing what we can to prevent other atrocities from occurring, but as an opposition party, our role is to scrutinise every piece of legislation rather than offering unconditional support, and the Greens will continue to do that," Senator Di Natale said.

As the first family of the special intake of Syrian refugees arrived in Perth today, Greens immigration spokesperson Sarah Hanson-Young has urged the community to unite behind with those who are fleeing the violence in the Middle East.

"We have to do everything we can to welcome and protect the people who are seeking asylum from the horrific situation in Syria," Senator Hanson-Young said.

"Following the heartbreaking attacks in Paris, some people in Australia will try to divide our community rather than unite it.

"As a caring people we are strong enough to protect and integrate those who need our help, regardless of their race or religion.

"This family, the first of many who will be coming to Australia, will undoubtedly become dedicated and proud citizens.

"Politicians from all sides should work together to guarantee that our communities remain united, and not divided, as a result of the recent events in the Middle East and Europe," said Senator Hanson-Young.


Back to All News