East Timor No Solution - World Vision
7 July 2010 at 3:42 pm
Australia’s largest aid agency, World Vision has urged the Gillard Government to immediately provide details on its plan to establish a regional processing centre for asylum seekers in East Timor.
World Vision Australia says it's concerned with the number of apparent gaps in the asylum seeker policy announced by Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
World Vision CEO Rev Tim Costello says the policy risks outsourcing the nation’s problems to another developing country in our region.
Rev Costello says at this point in time, East Timor is in no position to house a refugee community as it is still a young country focused on its own development as a nation following recent instability and conflict.
He says the government urgently needs to provide details on how it plans to fund and integrate this kind of facility into the East Timorese community.
Rev Costello says there are also questions remaining around how the Australian Government would contribute to addressing the humanitarian issues that result in desperate people fleeing their homelands.
He says World Vision is still waiting for details on how the new Gillard Government plans to assist poor communities as part of its responsibility as a good global citizen.
He says the government’s plan also lacks details on how the children of families seeking asylum will be treated at the proposed off-shore regional processing centre. The latest Immigration Department figures have revealed 508 people under the age of 18 were being housed in alternative detention accommodation as of June 11.
He says the Opposition’s plan to permit additional refugees to be settled in Australia under a community sponsorship model was worth exploring but its repetition of a policy to ‘turn back the boats’ offered no solution.