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MEDIA RELEASE

16 October 2018

The Refugee Council of Australia welcomes today’s news that three federal Liberal MPs have publicly urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison to bring all the refugee and asylum seeker children and their families from Nauru to Australia for urgent medical treatment.

The Refugee Council of Australia welcomes today’s news that three federal Liberal MPs have publicly urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison to bring all the refugee and asylum seeker children and their families from Nauru to Australia for urgent medical treatment.

“We welcome the courage of these Liberal politicians who have put concern for vulnerable children above politics,” Refugee Council CEO Paul Power said. “They are reflecting the views of millions of Australians who are distressed by the psychological harm being caused to refugees being held indefinitely on Nauru and Manus Island.”

Liberal MPs Russell Broadbent, Craig Laundy and Julia Banks have pleaded with the Prime Minister to stage an urgent humanitarian intervention to move more than 80 children and their asylum-seeking parents from Nauru.

“We see this as a political turning point and hope that Parliamentarians from across the political spectrum will join the call for refugee children and their families on Nauru to be brought to Australia for medical assessment and care,” Mr Power said.

“In the past week, we have seen public interventions by the Australian Medical Association, Medecins Sans Frontieres and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, all calling for refugee children and their families to be moved from Nauru immediately because of the deterioration in the condition of many of the children.

“The Australian Government can bring the refugee children and their families to Australia while maintaining its policy of seeking longer term answers for the refugees elsewhere. The expert advice clearly is that a circuit breaker is needed, to end what the Australian Medical Association has described as a growing humanitarian emergency.”

In the past 6 months legal intervention in Australia has forced the urgent medical transfer of 40 children suffering life threatening physical and psychological illness.

MEDIA CONTACT: Samuel Dariol on 0425 860 312 or samuel.dariol@refugeecouncil.org.au