14 Aug 2006

Call for end to Pacific Solution after Australia's asylum seeker legislation dumped

6:27 pm on 14 August 2006

Australia has abandoned plans to bring in tough new asylum seeker laws after a revolt by government MPs ensured that legislation could not be passed.

The revolt handed prime minister, John Howard, his biggest parliamentary defeat in ten years in power, forcing him to withdraw the changes ahead of a vote.

The new laws, drawn up to ease Indonesian concerns after Australia granted asylum to 43 Papuans, would have sent all asylum seekers who arrived by boat on mainland Australia to detention camps on Nauru.

The Australian Greens immigration spokesperson, Senator Kerry Nettle, says Mr Howard should now scrap his so called Pacific Solution.

She says the Australian public and the parliament have indicated that they don't want asylum seekers sent to Nauru and it is now time to shut down the camp and end the Pacific Solution.

Senator Nettle says the Nauru experiment has been shown to be a failure which has ruined and damaged lives and seen asylum seekers returned to face persecution and death in their home countries.