Call for change

MELISSA PARKE has again publicly broken ranks on Labor’s asylum seeker policy, declaring that boat arrivals should be processed in Australia and not off-shore.

The federal Fremantle Labor MP says boat arrivals deserve the same treatment as people who fly in and then declare they want asylum: “I believe it would be best if asylum seekers who arrive in Australia are processed onshore, as I have said consistently,” the former UN human rights lawyer told the Herald.

When in government Labor introduced the “PNG Solution”, with Kevin Rudd declaring boat arrivals would be re-settled in Papua New Guinea, not Australia.

Labor supports offshore processing of asylum seekers, including at Nauru and on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island.

Ms Parke’s latest comments come in the wake of a damning report by Amnesty International into conditions at Manus.

The international human rights group describes the detention centre there as, “cruel, inhuman and degrading, and violating the prohibition against torture”.

More than 1000 men are locked up with nothing to do in blistering tropical heat. They are limited to half-a-litre of water a day per person and struggle to get medical help, or access to a phone to call family.

by JENNY D’ANGER

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