In the lead-up to the federal election, Prime Minister Scott Morrison claimed that the current US resettlement deal still has scope to resettle hundreds more refugees. The Liberal party also won’t rule out New Zealand’s previous offer to take 150 refugees from Australia’s offshore detention. Meanwhile, Labor claimed it will use the US refugee deal to scope a potential resettlement arrangement with New Zealand, and may pursue other third-country options to get people off Manus Island and Nauru. Check out Asylum Insight’s Special Election Explainer for more details on the parties’ policies.
Labor’s Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong slammed a campaign which it claims is spreading false content about Labor’s refugee policies. The WeChat campaign, from an influential Chinese social media site, claimed that a future Labor government would increase humanitarian intake at least tenfold over the next decade and would allow visas to five or six of each refugee’s relatives. Labor is requesting that the Liberal party rule out any involvement in this campaign.
Refugee support workers on Manus Island claimed they were directed to falsify reporting documents to make it appear that they were meeting government requirements. Some workers resigned in protest after being asked to falsify records, including writing fraudulent files for clients they had not seen and completing management plans for refugees without any assessment.