Arja Keski-Nummi | ABC Radio National, 29 June 2012

RN Drive, 29 June: Parliament breaks with hopes resting on expert asylum panel

CPD Fellow Arja Keski-Nummi was interviewed by Julian Morrow on the seemingly intractable issues surrounding asylum-seeker and refugee policy. Keski-Nummi, former First Assistant Secretary within the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, was interviewed alongside Professor Sharon Pickering, Professor of Criminology at Monash University who has also written extensively on asylum and refugee policy issues.

Both interviewees identified key issues which had been omitted from the Australian debate, recognising that refugee flows are determined less by the immigration policies of recipient countries, than conditions in the refugees’ home countries.

After a week of turmoil off Christmas Island, and in Canberra, the Australian government is still no closer to a solution for unauthorised boat arrivals… after last week’s tragedy which saw 17 killed when a boat sank off Christmas Island… A bill drafted by the independent member for Lyne, Rob Oakeshott, was debated and passed through the Lower House on Wednesday, but yesterday it hit a brick wall in the Senate.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has now appointed former Defence Force chief Angus Houston to lead an expert panel charged with devising new policy solutions which can be considered by all parties when Parliament resumes in mid-August.

Listen to the programme here

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