31 October 2006


Those advocating the compassionate and humane treatment of refugees received a boost at the beginning of the recently completed Refugee Week. The social policy committee of the Australian Labor Party, one of the two major parties in the nation, announced that it would recommend that the party abolish the Temporary Protection Visa system.

Welcoming the announcement a spokesman for the Refugee Council of Australia commented that this was "another welcome sign that the Australian political mood was continuing to shift towards more humane and reasonable responses to the needs of people fleeing persecution and abuses of human rights"

The announcement came as a group of Australians representing church, community and school groups (including Parade College) gathered as part of the SIEV X National Memorial Project to remember the tragic loss of 353 children and parents on the refugee boat SIEV X (Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel X).

SIEV X was the biggest maritime disaster in our region since World War Two and arguably could at least in part be attributed to Australia’s harsh 'border protection' policy, as desperate families condemned to separation under the provisions of the TPV system, undertook the hazardous journey in an attempt to be re-united with loved ones in Australia.

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