#911 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 22 Jun 2014.
Tasmania’s Anglican Bishop, John Harrower, and CEO of the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce, Ms Misha Coleman, have proposed that Tasmania could process asylum seekers in the community, instead of the billions of dollars being wasted on offshore detention facilities.
The proposal attracted strong interest from local, state and Federal MPs.
It costs taxpayers an estimated $3,744 per day for each person in offshore detention, and Tasmania could well provide better conditions and outcomes for a fraction of the cost.
Multicultural Council CEO, Anna Reynolds, said there were an estimated 10.4 million refugees in United Nations care globally, most fleeing war and violence.
“Of this vast number, just 2,000 refugees came to Tasmania during the five years to 2013, as part of the national humanitarian program. We are a world away from the chaos of war. While we may not understand a journey driven by fear, we can celebrate our ability to be a haven for asylum seekers.”
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.