Policy platform represented by the Greens
The Greens represent a policy platform focusing on the compassionate treatment of asylum seekers, recognising the economic, social and cultural value that refugees and asylum seekers can provide to multicultural Australia.
Contrary to both the Labor Party and the Liberal/National coalition, the Greens strongly oppose any form of mandatory detention of asylum seekers (including offshore processing), recognising the horrific human toll of detention whilst hoping to realise the potential asylum seekers hold in contributing to Australian society.
The greens believe that all asylum seekers should be entitled to work, education, social security, health services and legal representation during the time taken to process their asylum applications.
Shorter timeframe for asylum seekers
On the topic of processing time, the Greens plan to decrease the time taken to process an application to just 30 days.
This is significantly shorter than the current time frame, where countless months in detention appear to be used as further deterrent to asylum seekers making the sea voyage to Australian shores.
The Greens also want to increase the number of asylum seekers accepted each year from 13,750 to 50,000 people and to establish a skilled refugee program for 10,000 people to counter the skilled migration figures in Australia that often number approximately 200,000 people per year.
The Greens are attempting to build on the work of former Australian leaders such as Malcom Fraser by increasing the refugee intake during humanitarian crises (as Australia did following the Vietnam War).
Vietnamese refugees have gone on to contribute immensely to Australian society both economically and culturally as well.
Ahn Do, as outlined in the refugee profile section, is an example of the valuable contribution that Vietnamese refugees have had on Australian life.
The Greens’ shortcomings
The Greens’ policy appears strong on both financial and compassionate grounds. Over 2 billion dollars will be saved by closing offshore detention centres.
Additional economic benefits will flow from refugee contribution to the economy. Some shortcomings may be evident in terms of funding for the full suite of services the Greens plan to provide, as well as regarding the 50,000 cap on refugees.
It may be the case that the demand for those places exceeds the intake number and people return to risking their lives on the sea journey from Indonesia to Australia.