After introducing a bill and appealing to both the Government and the opposition to establish a special visa class for Afghan interpreters, the Greens welcome the establishment of a program that recognises the important contribution of Afghan personnel who are at risk because of their work for our defence force.
“It is essential that we recognise the contribution of these brave people and I am glad to hear that the Government has followed the Greens’ lead on this issue,” the Greens’ immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said today.
“We have been speaking out on behalf of the brave men and women who work with our soldiers in Afghanistan for some time now and it is great to see that they will finally receive the recognition they deserve.
“By offering these people, who risk their lives to help our troops, safer pathways to Australia it will stop them from having to risk dangerous boat journeys to get the protection they deserve.
“I continue to hear from members of our defence force who all speak with deep gratitude for the vital support offered to them by local Afghan personnel, knowing that their work has put their own lives and those of their families at risk.
“I will continue to call for the visas issued under this program to be given in addition to Australia’s current humanitarian intake of 20,000 people, but overall this is a very positive announcement and I welcome it.”
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