The Greens have today denounced Bill Shorten's move to back the Abbott Government's "turn-back" policy for refugees seeking asylum in Australia.
"Labor's move to adopt Tony Abbott's turn-back policy is short-sighted and will only make things harder for refugees to find safety," Greens Immigration spokesperson Sarah Hanson-Young said today.
"Turn-backs are dangerous. They have never been about saving lives, they are about pushing people away, often to die in someone else's waters or trapped, unable to escape harm.
"Rather than pushing refugees over the horizon to die somewhere else, Australia needs to engage in our region to help provide safer passage and options for refugees.
"If every country turned boats away, thousands of refugees would die every week and the entire refugee system would collapse. Australia must stop being so arrogant and instead help our neighbours offer safety to refugees through humanitarian assistance, resettlement and search and rescue.
"Many Labor supporters will be heartbroken to see the ALP fail to stand up to Tony Abbott's anti-refugee rhetoric.
"Back-flipping on turn-backs is a big mistake for Labor and will only accelerate the race to the bottom.
"History has shown that every time Labor backs the Coalition on refugee policy the LNP come up with the next cruel policy, making life worse for refugees, not better.
"Leadership requires more than kowtowing to the fear campaigns of others. Many people will be upset that the Labor Party has vacated the field on human rights and common-sense.”
Note: Audio from Senator Hanson-Young’s doorstop in Adelaide this morning is attached
Media Contact: Rachel Ryan 0427 604 760