- From:The Australian
- July 13, 2012
DIVISIONS have erupted within Labor ranks over the growing attack on the Greens' refusal to back offshore processing of asylum-seekers, with the NSW Labor for Refugees organisation expressing disgust at the attack on the position taken by the Greens.
In a letter to NSW ALP secretary Sam Dastyari, the secretary for NSW Labor for Refugees Nizza Siano expresses disappointment with the attack on the Greens' stance and says the position of the federal parliamentary Labor Party on the issue "is inconsistent with its obligations under the platform".
"The position of the Greens party on refugee boat arrivals and offshore processing is more consistent with the Australian Labor Party platform and the NSW Labor Party platform because it respects Australia's international treaty obligations under the refugee convention," she wrote.
"By contrast, the current actions of the federal parliamentary Labor Party and the draft legislation before the parliament, which was moved in the House of Representatives by the government, is inconsistent with the Australian Labor Party platform and the NSW Labor Party platform because it respects Australia's international treaty obligations under the refugee convention," she wrote.
The letter said the High Court decision had found the agreement between Australia and Malaysia was inconsistent with the refugee convention.
"There has been nothing in the government's announcement which suggested that the arrangement between Australia and Malaysia and the memorandum of understanding would in any way change, even if the Rob Oakeshott bill were passed through the Senate," she said.
Mr Dastyari's call last weekend for Labor to consider placing the Greens last in preference deals has unleashed a wave of vitriol against the government's partner.
However, pro-refugee advocates will hold a fringe event at Labor's NSW conference on Saturday. NSW Labor for Refugees convener Shane Prince yesterday called on the government to take more refugees from Indonesia.
Mr Prince said Australia took only 56 a year and if it increased its intake asylum-seekers would not get on boats.