Nothing moral or ethical in Labor’s approach to asylum seekers, says Uniting Church Moderator
The news that the Australian Government has chosen to officially turn away from the Labor Party Platform and pursue legislation to enable offshore processing of asylum seekers has been met with grief and sadness by the Uniting Church’s Western Australian Moderator, the Rev. Ken Williams.
Mr Williams, who steps down as Moderator at the Church’s annual meeting this weekend, said this was the low point in his three-year term.
“Much has been made of the moral and ethical dilemma facing our Government; there is nothing moral or ethical in a response which outsources our collective conscience and punishes vulnerable people.”
Mr Williams said, “The Uniting Church and our staff will continue to offer legal, advocacy and spiritual support to people affected by Australia’s unjust immigration policy.
“What we need is the Government to step up and show some moral leadership.
“The onshore processing of asylum seekers is the only moral and ethical choice. It is also the most practical; community processing of asylum seekers is a low cost option which assists asylum seekers to integrate into the Australian community.
“Once again, the Uniting Church continues to call for the release of all asylum seekers into the care of the community once security and health checks have been completed.”
The Moderator said, “I call on the Prime Minister to respect last week’s High Court ruling, and put an end to the offshore processing which most Australians find deeply disturbing.
“Let’s put an end to Australia’s two-tiered system, where asylum seekers coming by boat are treated differently to those who arrive by plane.”