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Indonesian lawyer points path for PM to save refugees’ lives

Prime Minister Gillard should use her meetings today with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to reach agreement on resettling a thousand more refugees from Indonesia and putting $10 million more into the UNHCR's work in the country, to give refugees the hope they need in order not to get on boats, the Australian Greens said today.

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Greens’ proposal to save lives immediately is voted down but Multi-Party Committee proposal is taken up

The Greens are pleased that the Prime Minister has this evening announced a Multi-Party Committee with experts to work towards saving lives of people seeking asylum, as proposed by the Greens.

It is disappointing, however, that the Greens' constructive proposal to take immediate action to save lives by taking the pressure off those people seeking asylum in Indonesia and Malaysia and increase search and rescue capability in the region, has been voted down by both the government and opposition in the Senate.

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Migration Legislation Amendment (The Bali Process) Bill 2012

(Second reading amendment to be moved by the Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Milne, on behalf of herself and Senator Hanson-Young)

At the end of the motion, add:

                   but the Senate:

                     (a)  calls on the Government to take immediate action to:

(i)                 provide safe pathways for refugees to discourage people taking life threatening journeys;

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Multi-Party Committee proposed to help asylum seekers

The Greens today proposed that the Government convene a Multi-Party Committee, including the leadership of all parties as well as independent expert voices, in the mould of the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee, as a mechanism to find a positive, long-term, legal and humanitarian resolution to helping asylum seekers.

"The Australian community is crying out for leadership from politicians to help the desperate people who try to come to our shores seeking asylum," said Australian Greens Leader, Senator Christine Milne.

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