More than 500 refugees and asylum-seekers will be left with nowhere to go after Labor and the Coalition refused to commit to negotiating more places in overseas resettlement programs. Source: SBS News.
The Government recently finalised a deal to send 450 refugees to New Zealand over the next three years and approximately 250 places remain on the United States resettlement pathway.
But there are about 1380 refugees and asylum-seekers who came to Australia after the Rudd Labor government introduced rules in 2013 preventing asylum-seekers who arrive by boat from ever settling in the country.
Once those overseas places are filled, the hundreds left will remain stranded.
The vast majority of the 1380 people have already been declared refugees, with most living in Australia and about 200 living in Nauru and Papua New Guinea.
Those in Australia are deemed "transitory persons" on Final Departure Bridging Visas, which have restrictions on work and education opportunities.
The Coalition maintains this group will never settle in Australia but hasn’t announced another overseas pathway.
There are close to 20,000 refugees in Australia on temporary protection visas (TPVs) who came by boat before the policy to bar them settling in Australia was established.
Labor has committed to bringing them onto permanent protection visas, which will give many the opportunity to work and study. Opposition leader Anthony Albanese said while Labor supports third-country resettlement and offshore processing, it doesn’t support TPVs.
Last month, Prime Minister Scott Morrison reaffirmed those refugees would remain on TPVs under his government.
Refugee Council of Australia CEO, Paul Power, said it will be up to the next government to fix the issue that’s been plaguing the country for nine years.