Mayo candidates' say on asylum seekers

MAKING IT COUNT: Fleurieu residents will vote in the federal election this Saturday, September 7; Karen Brown of Victor Harbor cast her vote early as Tony Phillips, Julie Phillips, Susanne Camac and Drew handed out voting information at the Victor Harbor Town Hall during the week.
MAKING IT COUNT: Fleurieu residents will vote in the federal election this Saturday, September 7; Karen Brown of Victor Harbor cast her vote early as Tony Phillips, Julie Phillips, Susanne Camac and Drew handed out voting information at the Victor Harbor Town Hall during the week.

REGION - The final question the candidates for Mayo were asked was “How do you resolve the current treatment of asylum seekers, with your personal, religious or ethical position?”

This Saturday, September 7 sitting Member for Mayo Jamie Briggs is facing four candidates. Norah Fahy of the Adelaide Hills will stand for the Australian Labor Party, Ian Grosser for the Greens, Bruce Hicks for Family First and the Palmer United Party is running Bikkar Singh Brar.

There are several polling booths Mayo voters can attend this Saturday, which are all open from 8am to 6pm.

These include the Victor Harbor’s Encounter Centre, the Encounter Lutheran College and Victor Harbor Town Hall. If you are in Goolwa vote at the Goolwa Uniting Church Hall or Goolwa Primary School. 

Port Elliot RSL Hall, Middleton Pioneer Hall, Currency Creek Hall, Mount Compass Area School, Myponga Primary School and the Jubilee Hall in Yankalilla are also polling booths.

Ian Grosser - Greens

I am appalled at the policies of the two old parties towards people fleeing war and persecution. They are competing in a race to the bottom to be the cruellest, damaging Australia's international reputation by dishonouring our obligations.

The Inverbrackie Detention Centre within Mayo has provided humane treatment at a fraction of the cost of offshore detention. It has provided 60 local jobs and been a source of cultural enrichment, including for schools where asylum seeker children attend with support from school principals and communities.

Only the Greens have the courage to stand up for these vulnerable people. 

The Greens want to create safer ways to reach Australia, treat refugees better and pursue regional solutions including assisting the United Nations in Indonesia.

Norah Fahy - Labor

As the daughter of an Irish migrant I am proud of Australia's rich immigrant history. It has brought great economic, social and cultural benefits to our communities. 

However we face more challenging international circumstances and this has led to increasing numbers of asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat. It has cost too many asylum seekers their life. 

The Rudd Labor government has implemented a new approach designed to preserve life. Our humanitarian intake has also increased from around 13,000 to 20,000. 

I appreciate and respect that people within my community hold different views about the correct settings for refugee policy. I will remain a strong voice for fair and sustainable refugee policy.

Bruce Hicks - Family First

I am in no way in favour of some of the current tactics being proffered by either side of Federal politics. 

Putting Naval officers at risk by towing boats back to Indonesia or destabilising a developing country such as PNG are not options. 

Vietnam boat immigrants of the post-Vietnam war era are now contributing productively to our society; look at the international relationship that now exists between Vietnam and Australia!I have been through the frustrating and prohibitive process of family reunification. 

Quite decent, qualified and dignified people are denied access because of our unwieldy, stringent processes. 

Australian Embassies in foreign places can be scary and lacking in empathy for those seeking refuge.

More streamlined procedures for processing applications for immigration and asylum need to be invoked. 

These people need to be treated in a dignified way, resettled strategically and made to feel worthy. The question, "Who is our neighbour?" deserves consideration.

Jamie Briggs - Liberal

The most ethical and responsible thing we can do is implement policies that discourage people from coming to Australia on dangerous and unseaworthy boats. 

Under the Labor and Greens border protection policies, more than 1,000 people have perished at sea and more than 6,000 children have had their lives put at risk by travelling on dangerous boats to Australia. 

 Furthermore, more than 14,500 desperate people have been denied a place under our humanitarian programme because of the influx of asylum seekers arriving by boat. 

A Coalition Government will reintroduce proven border protection policies that will dismantle the people smugglers business model, stop the boats and stop people risking their lives at sea.

Bikkar Singh Brar - Palmer United Party

Both the major parties have complicated the issue of asylum seekers to use it as a tool to win the elections. 

Memories are fresh of John Howard's lie about refugees throwing their "children overboard". You can see the colossal waste of national asset on debating this issue in Parliament and media both print and electronic. 

Palmer United Party makes it very simple, "Do what the others are doing. 

Let them come with a return ticket with complete travel documents, assess them at the airport and accept the genuine one and return the others in next available flight."