The Manus Island and Nauru centres were set up as regional transit processing facilities.
Unfortunately, we have seen these centres become places of indefinite detention under the current Government.
The Government has also failed to find third country resettlement options for those residing in offshore centres, and this is something that Labor will continue to keep on the Government’s agenda.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the number of displaced people fleeing from war, conflict or persecution is the highest since World War II.
Labor believes Australia can, and should, play its part in addressing this global humanitarian crisis by helping to resettle our fair share of genuine refugees.
We must also meet our responsibility to end people smuggling and prevent deaths at sea.
Experience has shown us people smugglers will prey on vulnerable people and make huge profits if we allow them to operate their vile trade, which has resulted in more than 1,200 men, women and children drowning at sea.
Our resolve to prevent deaths at sea is matched by a commitment to a humane and compassionate approach to asylum seekers, which includes increasing Australia’s annual intake of refugees to 27,000 by 2025.
I am confident this approach will keep vulnerable people safe, prevent serious organised crime and restore Australia’s place in the world as a respected and responsible global citizen.