Refugees & People seeking Asylum

Background

Ironically, Australia is a favoured destination for immigration and asylum because our border protection policies have made Australia stable and safe.

The most troubling issue is asylum seekers who try to come to Australia dangerously by boat. Australia is not alone in this predicament, and we have seen multiple mass drownings of the coast of Europe recently.

There is also widespread community concern about how mass immigration may alter the Australian culture and communities. Specific concerns have been raised about the ability of Muslim immigrants to integrate into the Australian community, leading to a shallow and often acrimonious debate.

Australia currently supports the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) financially and the UN with peace keeping forces when requested.

Geographically, Australia is far removed from the country of origin for the vast majority of refugees. Asylum seekers must leave several places of safety in order to move from a country like Syria to arrive in Australia, raising the question of why a legitimate refugee, seeking safety, would continue to place themselves and often their families, at risk.

 

POLICY

The AUSTRALIAN COUNTRY PARTY supports the UN in providing refugee facilities in the countries in which they first seek asylum, and is committed to increasing financial support to the UN in order to provide safe havens close to their country of origin.

It is the policy of the AUSTRALIAN COUNTRY PARTY that strong measures should be taken to discourage boat travel by refugees to Australia in order to preserve their lives.

The AUSTRALIAN COUNTRY PARTY does not support asylum shopping by refugees. If the reason for seeking asylum is genuinely to seek safety, then it makes no sense and it is often dangerous for refugees to then leave their safe refuge to seek asylum elsewhere. Asylum shopping raises very reasonable concerns about the motivation for seeking asylum, specifically
raising the likelihood that in the Australian context, it is performed as alternative immigration in order to bypass the usual immigration procedures.

Seeking asylum should not be done for the purposes of improving the economic prospects of the refugee. On investigation, it is often determined that there is no credible reason for refugees to be seeking
asylum in Australia. These investigations should be carried out more quickly and the refugees repatriated to their country of origin in a matter of days, not years. The current system is unreasonably slow in
making determinations.

It is AUSTRALIAN COUNTRY PARTY policy that all refugees arriving by boat should be assessed and managed on Australian territory, for example, Christmas Island, by Australian staff. Whenever possible the refugee should be returned to their country of origin as quickly as possible in order to discourage asylum shopping and the dangerous travel required to arrive at Australia’s border.

The number of refugees accepted by Australia is appropriate and sustainable and should not be increased. Rather, Australia should contribute Defence Force personnel and Federal Police to UN peacekeeping
forces in order to make troubled countries safe for the return of refugees.

It is AUSTRALIAN COUNTRY PARTY policy that Australia’s immigration
policies must not be influenced by acts of self-harm by refugees.

The AUSTRALIAN COUNTRY PARTY does not support off-shore detention of asylum seekers, because this limits oversight of detention centres, slows processing, and evades Australia’s responsibilities by conducting policy through proxy. It is also illegal in some countries.