August 19, 2013
A social justice campaigner says tough talk on asylum seekers by both major parties is causing sleepless nights for southern Queensland refugees.
Labor has been advocating its Papua New Guinea deal, while last week the Opposition announced its plan including removing the right for asylum seekers who get a negative refugee assessment to appeal through the review tribunal.
Mark Copland from Toowoomba’s Catholic Social Justice Commission says the hardline rhetoric makes asylum seekers already in Australia uneasy about their future.
“I’ve sort of had the unfortunate experience of explaining to some young men in that situation the current Government policy and the proposed policy of the Coalition – they’re very worried, they had tears in their eyes,” he said.
“There are human consequences, it’s not a game.
“I actually really worry about the mental health implications of what’s happening and already I know people in the Toowoomba community who have come seeking asylum who don’t sleep at night because of what they’ve come from and they’re worried about their future.
“I just find it quite distressing.”