While everyone was in US election mode last Tuesday, Labor voted unanimously against the proposed bill to ban refugees who arrive by boat from ever entering Australia.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten had previously voiced his concern that aspects of the legislation were “ridiculous”, and this was confirmed by Bill Shorten in yesterday’s press conference.
“We are on a unity ticket with the Government to stop the people smugglers but we are not on a unity ticket to stop the tourists.”
The outcome of the proposed legislation now sits with the Senate’s cross bench.
This comes in the wake of Defence Lawyer and refugee advocate, Deng Thiak Adut being named NSW Australian of the Year last week.
In his address at Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Mr Adut spoke about the rights he lost when he was conscripted at a young age, the foremost of these being “the right to become an initiated member of [his] tribe”.
“The mark of inclusiveness was denied to me. I had to wait until I became an Australian citizen to know that I belonged.”
Throughout his speech, Deng expressed his wish for more people to think “inclusively” rather than “decisively”, which contradicts a lot of the current government’s rhetoric about refugees.