Another weekend has passed and Scott Morrison has still not announced when Australians will go to the polls for the Federal election.
At the Refugee Council of Australia, we have been preparing for months so we can seize on the opportunity offered by the election to put refugee rights on the agenda and send a message to our politicians that Australians overwhelmingly support humanity over cruelty towards refugees.
Today we are launching our Choose Humane Federal election campaign, which lays out a comprehensive vision of what refugee policy can look like. It holds at its core the affirmation of humanity and the rejection of the cruel and harsh policies that have typically been taken to the election by the major parties. We believe in a holistic approach to the complex issue of people fleeing persecution in our region, rather than a knee jerk reaction to one symptom of that.
The more people who pledge their support, the more likely key politicians are to listen to us. Our aim is to get 30,000 people nationally to pledge their support to humanity, then deliver our plan, with these pledges, to the leaders of the major parties before the election. Post-election we will do individual lobbying of pollies across the country, showing them the level of support in their community for this cause.
Our plan has been developed over years in broad collaboration, and we know it is the best blueprint for change that has been put forward in many years. We need to show politicians that this plan has public support, then we need to hold them to account.
We know elections are key opportunities to reach politicians – so let’s make the most of it.
The time for waiting is over, its time to act.
I hope you can join us.
Kelly, for the Refugee Council team
Refugee Council of Australia