NZ should welcome Melbourne Court decision
11 September 2001
New Zealand should welcome Melbourne Court decision on Afghans
Green Party Immigration spokesperson Keith Locke has welcomed a Melbourne judge's direction to land the asylum seekers from the Tampa on Australian territory.
"It is much better for them to be processed in Australia than on the tiny island of Nauru," said Mr Locke.
"The court decision is a victory for common decency."
Mr Locke said that Australia's rejection of the refugees had set a dangerous precedent.
"Passing ships would be less likely to rescue boat people if they thought their ship was in for the same hassle as the Tampa.
"We should support the court decision as giving the 433 asylum seekers the right to settle in Australia if they get through the assessment process," he said.
"We should still keep our offer open to settle 150 Afghans here.
"There might actually be a neat solution. The 433 asylum seekers are given the chance to settle in Australia, while the 237 other refugees on the troopship Manoora are allowed to come to Auckland for processing," said Mr Locke.