Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young was denied a visa to visit Nauru, one week after Fairfax Media’s application for a visa to visit the country was also refused. Meanwhile, six members of the Danish Parliament’s Immigration and Integration Affairs Committee have been granted permission to visit Nauru. One of the MPs said that the group is visiting Nauru to “ask some of the questions that the Australian Government is preventing journalists from asking.”
Opposition leader Bill Shorten indicated that Labor is open to resettling refugees from Australia’s offshore detention centres in New Zealand. However, the Coalition government has said that refugees will not be settled in New Zealand because this could create “incentives for people smugglers to get back into business”.
Thousands of protestors took part in seven separate “Close the camps, Bring them here” rallies across Australia to demand the closure of the offshore processing centres on Nauru, and the resettlement of refugees on Manus Island and Nauru in Australia.
An analysis by the Parliamentary Library showed that the offshore processing centre on Manus Island has cost Australia around $2 billion since it reopened four years ago. Immigration minister Peter Dutton announced last week that the centre would eventually close; however, this week Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court heard arguments in a case seeking orders that the centre be closed within 48 hours and that all refugees and asylum seekers be transferred to Australia. A full hearing date for the case is yet to be set.
The Scanlon Foundation in conjunction with Monash University released the 2016 Australians Today report into the state of multiculturalism in Australia. The report found that more than three in four South Sudanese migrants, most of whom arrived as humanitarian refugees, have experienced some form of discrimination.