Kerryn Phelps condemns offshore detention in maiden speech

Just minutes ago, the new federal member for Wentworth delivered her first speech to the Australian parliament. And the words she spoke are ones that many want to hear within those walls from those representing the major political parties.

“I cannot be an idle bystander to the reports of the shocking mental and physical state of the children held on Nauru – helpless victims of Australia’s offshore processing policy. Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers is a source of shame and sorrow for me and for many thousands of my medical colleagues and other Australians.

This cruel treatment of asylum seekers asking Australia for help, to return to my earlier theme, ignores the human experience at the heart of the policy of offshore processing and indefinite confinement on Manus Island and Nauru.

“No longer can we tolerate our Government holding the lives of these children and their families to ransom to make a point about maritime arrivals.

“Yes, we need strong border protection. But it is not … and must not be … a choice between deaths at sea and indefinite offshore confinement.

“There is a mismatch between what the Australian government has been doing and what the majority of the people of Australia want, and this must be resolved.

“We must find a compassionate compromise.”

On this issue (as with a number of others), Dr Phelps speaks not only for the constituents of Wentworth but for the wider population. To emphasise to the Liberal, National and Labor representatives in the Australian Parliament that their newest colleague is right when she states that “there is a mismatch between what the Australian government has been doing and what the majority of the people of Australia want“, please get directly in touch with one of more of those representatives and indicate that THIS MUST BE RESOLVED.

The most recent contact details for Australian MPs or Senators can be found at the following link (where full lists can be downloaded as pdf documents as well as searching for individual representatives):

OR you can view/download the November lists at the following links:

Please share this post widely and encourage others to join Kerryn Phelps in stating that Australians will no longer tolerate the cruelty of offshore detention. None of us can be bystanders on an  life and death issue while our major parties revel in the deterioration of the lives and spirits of innocent human beings.

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