Statement by Bishop Philip Huggins, Chair, Melbourne Anglican Social Responsibilities Committee

Reports today make plain that the Federal Government‘s ‘no advantage’ policy regarding Asylum-seekers, introduced on August 13, is not working to reduce the numbers arriving.

There are many reasons for this. The most obvious is the desperate circumstances of those seeking asylum and the fact that more than 30 million people are displaced internationally. Given that the policy is not working to stem numbers, it is time to better consider the negative effects of the ‘no advantage’ policy.

Given that a large percentage of asylum-seekers end up being recognised as refugees, it is in their interest and the national interest to help them find work and a reasonable, dignified living as soon as possible.

This is one time when compassion and common sense come together perfectly.

Whilst greater regional co-operation is explored to better protect people from dangerous boats and people-smugglers, let’s deal with those arriving compassionately and sensibly so they become grateful and productive citizens, even whilst they await the outcome of their claims.

Let’s be a blessing to them and thus to ourselves!

Bishop Philip Huggins
M: 0418 799 515
T: (03) 9653 4243

Roland Ashby, communications director
M: 0418 342 561
T: (03) 9653 4215

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