By JR on Thursday, December 01, 2011
The Left will destroy Australia any way they can
IMMIGRATION Minister Chris Bowen says Australia should increase its refugee intake by 50 per cent. Mr Bowen will propose at the Labor Party's national conference this weekend to increase Australia's resettlement of refugees from 13,750 to 20,000.
"I have had the view for some time that we could and should take more refugees," Mr Bowen told ABC Radio today. "It's an aspiration ... there's no timeline that I'm putting on it." "I just think it's very important that the Labor platform, which is after all a statement of broad objectives, has that objective in it for the first time."
Mr Bowen said Australia's refugees intake was the highest per person of any country in the world. "But that doesn't mean I don't think we can do more still," he said.
He said his proposal would make it clear that Labor's view was to take more refugees. "We want to give more people a life in Australia but we need to tackle the dangerous boats coming to Australia," Mr Bowen said. "Then we can have that conversation with the people of Australia to increase our refugee intake further."
Mr Bowen said the offshore processing of refugees had to be one of several measures to reduce the number of people jumping onto boats heading to Australia.
"Just increasing your refugee intake is not a deterrent to getting on a boat to come to Australia, but if it is part of a broader mix, which included offshore processing, that would be important," he said.
Labor abandoned a plan to put its bill to allow offshore processing of asylum seekers in Malaysia to a vote in October after it could not guarantee its passage through parliament.
The minister's proposal comes after Australian authorities intercepted a boat carrying more than 100 asylum seekers east of Christmas Island yesterday.