Prominent Australians reject refugee response | AAP

Filmmakers, politicians and business heavyweights are among 34 high-profile Australians who have endorsed our recent report, A New Approach: Breaking the Stalemate on Refugees & Asylum Seekers.

“Australia’s asylum and refugee policy is still sadly characterised by human tragedy, political opportunism, policy failure and great cost,” the group, which includes former immigration minister Ian Macphee and writer Thomas Keneally said in a statement.

People seeking asylum in Australia had been the subject to “a toxic debate” which had polarised large sections of the community and paralysed politicians of most persuasions from engaging in constructive dialogue, it added.

Other signatories included actor Bryan Brown, classical musician Richard Tognetti and filmmaker of Happy Feet and Mad Max fame, Margaret Sixel.

They were joined by ACTU head Ged Kearney, business leader Heather Ridout and Janet Holmes a Court.

Australia has long had a policy of mandatory detention for asylum seekers, sending most to the remote Christmas Island outpost for processing, and recently announced deals to ship hundreds to Malaysia and Papua New Guinea.

The Centre for Policy Development’s report describes these measures as a “disproportionate reaction” to the small number of people, who amount to one percent of all applications for asylum worldwide, who arrive in Australia.

Read the full article in The Australian here.

Read the full CPD report, A New Approach: Breaking the Stalemate of Refugee & Asylum Seekers here.

A New Approach comprehensively critiques Australia’s refugee and asylum policies and finds they are inhumane, ineffective and expensive.