Opinion editorial by Travers McLeod, Bob Douglas & Jane McAdam, following the joint High level asylum policy roundtable
This important event was held at Parliament House, Canberra on 11 July. It was aimed at forging a long-term framework for asylum seeker policy through expert open dialogue.
The roundtable brought together 35 politicians, policy makers and commentators. It was a joint initiative of the Centre for Policy Development, Australia21 and the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, University of New South Wales.
The asylum seeker debate has become stuck and it seems you are either ”for refugees” or ”against them” and that the space for a rational, respectful debate has contracted.
Participants included a former Indonesian Ambassador to Australia, a strategist from Malaysia, and parliamentarians from three major parties. The roundtable provided an opportunity for this diverse, expert group to consider the options in open dialogue, and to explore the feasibility and practicability of a new approach to asylum seeker policy.