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Australia has an obligation to refugees who have contracted COVID

Refugees that the Australian Government exiled to Papua New Guinea contracting COVID should prompt their immediate evacuation to Australia, Greens Immigration spokesperson Nick McKim says.

“For years, Labor and Liberal Governments have deliberately withheld adequate medical treatment from people in their care,” Senator McKim said.

“The refugees who have contracted COVID need to be medevacced to Australia, and all other refugees in PNG need to be brought to Australia to prevent them contracting the illness.”

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Adam Bandt demands freedom for Park Hotel refugees

Leader of the Australian Greens, Adam Bandt MP, has demanded freedom for 12 refugees imprisoned in the Park Hotel in his electorate of Melbourne, ahead of a rally this weekend calling for their release.

Mr Bandt will attend this weekend's COVID-safe rally at the Park Hotel in Carlton, organised by the Campaign Against Racism and Fascism (CARF), It has been endorsed by dozens of groups and individuals, including the Victorian Greens. 

“The Australian government must release all of the refugees in the Park Hotel immediately," Mr Bandt said.

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Release of refugees from hotel detention a belated humanitarian step

 

The overdue release of dozens of refugees from immigration detention is a very welcome glimmer of humanity in Australia’s refugee policy, Greens Immigration Spokesperson Senator Nick McKim says.

“These men have been through so much for so long, and for them now to be able to breathe free air is a wonderful step forward for them,” Senator McKim said. 

“There are still over 150 people who suffered through years of offshore detention detained in Australia. They should also be immediately released.”

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Motion: Migrant Workers

I'd like to inform the chamber that Senator McKim will be co-sponsoring this motion with me. I, and also on behalf of Senator McKim, move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) 2020 has been an incredibly tough year for temporary visa holders in Australia, including migrant workers and international students,

(ii) according to the Migrant Worker Justice Initiative, 70% of temporary visa holders lost their jobs or most of their hours after the pandemic hit in March,

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Budget shows cuts to humanitarian intake

Cutting 20,000 places from Australia's humanitarian intake is cruel and unnecessary, Greens Immigration spokesperson Nick McKim says.

"The Liberals' decision to reduce Australia's humanitarian intake from 18,750 to 13,750 for the next four years is devastating to displaced people around the world and the millions of Australians who want a compassionate refugee policy," Senator McKim said.

"That is 20,000 men, women and children who will remain displaced because of deliberate decisions taken by this Government."

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Expanded values test is unnecessary

The Government’s attempts to force citizens through an expanded values test is unnecessary, the Greens say, while welcoming the commitment to expanded language classes.

“Arbitrary tests don't make a society more cohesive,” Greens Leader Adam Bandt MP said. 

“Scott Morrison locks up asylum seekers and Peter Dutton attacks African Australians. Instead of attacking multiculturalism and democracy, Scott Morrison should value them.

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Speech: International Students

I have spoken numerous times in this chamber about the government's failure to support international students during COVID-19. Sadly, since I spoke on this matter in June the situation has deteriorated even further for the hundreds of thousands of international students who have been left high and dry. Students who are greedily welcomed here are then treated as cash cows.

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