The Pacific Solution is reaching its endgame. Scott Morrison will soon run out of options.
If you missed it last week, Richard Ackland, in The Guardian, was seeking new approaches on asylum seeker policy. He turned to turned to the CPD’s joint roundtable with Australia21 and the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, UNSW, for some fresh approaches.
Both the Coalition and Labor have fed into the same well of distrust and resentment. But if we accept that the Pacific Solution is almost played out and turnbacks are something that Indonesia will not accept indefinitely, where to next for our asylum policy?
Last month there was a big roundtable conference in Canberra trying to develop proposals for a better way to handle this divisive issue. It was organised by the Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, the Centre for Policy Development and a non-partisan research organisation, Australia21.
The discussion took place around a document called “Beyond Operation Sovereign Borders: A long-Term Asylum Policy for Australia” prepared by two former senior people from the Immigration Department, Peter Hughes and Arja Keska-Nummi.
Participants included politicians, a former Indonesian ambassador to Australia, a strategist from Malaysia, lawyers, academics and former military people. A full report is coming later in the year.