A new approach: Breaking the stalemate on refugees and asylum seekers



refugee facts image

CPD has released A new approach: breaking the stalemate on refugees & asylum seekers, a report which comprehensively critiques Australia’s refugee and asylum policies and finds they are inhumane, ineffective and expensive.

Australia needs a circuit-breaker in our treatment of people seeking asylum from war and persecution. On the 10th anniversary of the Tampa, Australia’s asylum and refugee policies are still sadly characterised by human tragedy, political opportunism, policy failure and great cost.

The authors of the report – John Menadue, Arja Keski-Nummi and Kate Gauthier – draw on their extensive policy experience to inject facts into a highly-politicised debate and put forward policies that ensure we treat people seeking asylum with fairness, assess their claims rigorously but with compassion, and develop policies that are in the interests of all Australians.

Download A New Approach

The Centre for Policy Development’s A New Approach – Breaking the Stalemate on Refugees and Asylum Seekers report
sets out a pathway to advance Australia’s national interest by assuring that the claims of asylum seekers to Australia’s
protection are considered rigorously but with compassion.

The report outlines 13 recommendations which all aim to ensure that Australia:

  • Adheres to all international conventions which we have voluntarily signed
  • Quickly and correctly identifies those who are refugees and grants them protection
  • consistent with UNHCR policies and guidelines
  • Protects Australians from any health or security concerns
  • Discourages dangerous journeys, but treats fairly those who have made those journeys
  • Affords all people in Australia their human rights, as well as access to the legal systems which deliver them, and
  • Rapidly returns home in safety and dignity those who are found not to be in need of
  • Australia’s protection.


34 prominent Australians have endorsed the findings of CPD’s A New Approach Report. You can read their full statement of support here.

A New Approach in the Media

PROMINENT business and union leaders have endorsed a new strategy on asylum seekers that would have mandatory detention phased out within two years and Australia's intake of refugees significantly increased over five years. Heather Ridout and Janet Holmes a Court, along