On November 22, I gave a speech in Parliament written by Araminta Crocombe, for Youth Voice in Parliament Week.
I rise now to deliver a speech written for me by Araminta Crocombe, a 15-year-old constituent from Griffith for the Raise Our Voice in Parliament campaign, which asks young people around Australia what they think our new parliament should accomplish. Araminta writes:
"I would like the new government of Australia to focus on ending offshore processing.
I'm 15, and for my whole life offshore processing has played a major part in Australia's approach to deter people from seeking asylum by boat. Rather than saving lives offshore processing and detention centres ruined them.
I would like the new Australian government to follow international protocols around asylum seekers and refugees by recognising that under article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone "has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution". All asylum seekers should be processed quickly in Australia regardless of how or where they arrive.
The Australian government has failed to uphold these international agreements, and as of 31 August 2022; 111 people are stranded in Papua New Guinea. 105 people are stranded in Nauru. These people are living within the community as they are not able to get visas or citizenships due to the Australian government.
Offshore processing and detention centres are fully funded by the Australian government, the Australian government spent $957 million (up from a projected cost of $812 million) in the 2021-2022 financial year. The Australian government's expenditure on this offshore system consistently exceeds the amount originally budgeted.
Offshore processing should be brought to a formal end by providing everyone who has been subject to the policy since 2012 with settlement in Australia or countries like New Zealand who have offered to take Asylum Seekers.
Shut down offshore processing and detentions centres because everyone should be given fair chances and opportunities."