13 Apr 2006

Australia appeasing Jakarta with tough new asylum seekers measures, says Greens leader

4:20 pm on 13 April 2006

Australia's Greens leader says the government's decision to adopt tough new measures over processing claims of asylum seekers is a direct move to exclude Papuans from entering from Indonesia.

The new rules expand Australia's regulations that allow islands to be excised from its migration zone, so that even those asylum-seekers who make it to the mainland will be denied review process under Australian law.

The measures, decided on yesterday by cabinet's national security committee, include provision for foreign nations to provide information on conditions in areas from which people have fled.

Senator Bob Brown says the move is designed to appease the Indonesian government which is upset over Australia's recent granting of protection visas to 42 refugees from Papua.

"And it's racist. It is aimed directly at excluding Papuans from coming to our country, our neighbours to the north, in a way that has never been used to exclude Europeans or North Americans from coming to this country because they're still able to do that."

Senator Bob Brown