But the fate of thousands of other refugees and asylum seekers in limbo in Australia remains uncertain.
Beyond allowing one family to go ‘home to Bilo’, what else we can expect the new Labor government will do about thousands more asylum seekers and refugees?
Offshore processing is a failed policy that continues to haemorrhage cash, destroy lives and erode the international system for refugee protection.
Asylum seekers at the Manus Island detention centre in Papua New Guinea in 2014.
The mounting urgency about asylum seekers trying to reach the UK by boat does not sweep aside the need for reasoned and rational policymaking.
Nauru is receiving hundreds of millions of dollars from Australia annually to house 109 asylum seekers. The real purpose, though, is to ‘stand ready to receive new arrivals’.
WORLD VISION/NICK RALPH
That no Australian government in almost a decade has successfully brought this policy to a formal close is astonishing. In fact, Australia ceased transferring new arrivals offshore in 2014.
People protesting offshore detention of asylum seekers interrupted Malcolm Turnbull’s speech to CEDA on Wednesday.
It has taken more than three months for the Australian and PNG governments to jointly announce the Manus Island detention centre will close. But the detainees’ fate is now even more uncertain.
What are Australia’s international obligations in relation to its offshore processing centres?
Leaked incident reports from the Nauru detention centre affirm what has been known for a long time: detention is no place for children, and we need alternatives to offshore processing.
There is an unwavering, untested, bipartisan assertion on asylum seekers: no-one will be resettled in Australia, as that will encourage people smugglers.
History suggests that resettling refugees on Nauru and Manus Island in Australia and New Zealand will not enliven people smuggling between Indonesia and Christmas Island.
Australia’s arrangements with Papua New Guinea and Nauru have not secured sustainable, durable solutions for those asylum seekers found to be refugees.
Both major parties support offshore processing and boat turnbacks. But public opinion on asylum seekers is not so clear-cut. And nor are the policy alternatives.
Detainees on Manus Island are seeking an injunction to prevent their removal to Nauru or elsewhere until Australia’s High Court hears their case.
If a new High Court claim against Australia’s offshore detention regime succeeds, it will entirely undermine Australia’s inhumane practices in relation to “those who come across the seas”.
In parliament on Wednesday, the Greens’ Adam Bandt challenged Peter Dutton with a highly provocative question.
It is hard to credit that two asylum seekers in Nauru could set themselves alight on Australia’s watch and the stories receive, compared to much else, so little attention in our hyper media cycle. One…
Malcolm Turnbull says ‘we cannot be misty-eyed’ on border protection.
It is a shocking truth that, for the most part, the politicians are leaving their humanity at home as they debate the future of the men on Manus Island.
There are no real alternatives for resettling the refugees on Manus Island elsewhere in the region.
The Australian government must face the uncomfortable truth that it is no longer possible to process or detain asylum seekers and refugees in other countries in our region.
Malcolm Turnbull greeting builders a site near Brisbane on Wednesday, where he launched a pilot scheme to get more women into construction.
Malcolm Turnbull’s nose was out of joint when Tony Abbott said last month the Turnbull government would be running at the election on the Abbott government’s record. Turnbull insisted that while there…
The detention of people transferred from Australia has no valid basis in PNG law.
A PNG Supreme Court judgment is likely to have profound implications for Australia’s offshore processing regime in that country.
Politics podcast: Sarah Hanson-Young on the plight of Abyan.
In this interview, Sarah Hanson-Young calls on the government to appoint an independent advocate to protect the interests of the Somali woman known as "Abyan", who is being held on Nauru.
Under the Coalition government, there has been little regard for asylum seekers’ humanity, and no concern for establishing durable solutions to their plight.
Labor has little to gain politically from deviating from the Coalition’s harsh asylum seeker policy, and yet there is urgent need for reform.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has so far continued in the ‘bad cop’, border protector image of his predecessor, Scott Morrison.
2014 was the year of triumphant press conferences at which the Abbott government affirmed its determination to “stop the boats” and outlined its success at doing so. However, 2015 is likely to be much…
Australians should demand a more representative dialogue on matters of refugee protection, inclusive of asylum seekers’ voices.
AAP/Refugee Action Coalition
Australia has long shown disregard for international conventions surrounding refugees. It labels asylum seekers in detention on Manus Island as “transferees”, also frequently referring to those who arrive…