THE last version of the Coalition’s asylum seeker policy continues to show a lack of basic human compassion, according to some of Orange’s church leaders.
Sister Mary Trainor said she remained disheartened by the attitudes of both sides of politics and is hoping the United Nations will continue to bring pressure on Australia to ease its policies.
“They have already condemned our stance but I would like see them go further,” Sister Mary said.
“The lack of empathy by both sides of government who are using a fear factor is a breach of basic human rights.”
After reading Coalition leader Tony Abbott’s latest plan, which could deny permanent residency to refugees and be a barrier to families reuniting, Sr Mary said her thoughts turned to the words of Australia’s national anthem.
“It is a mockery to sing in our national anthem we welcome people to our shores,” she said.
Archdeacon Frank Hetherington, of Holy Trinity Anglican Church, echoed the same sentiments about the heartless attitude of both sides of government in refusing entry to boat people.
“I have to take issue with parking people away in Papua New Guinea with absolutely no social networks or support,” he said.
Archdeacon Hetherington said he found it difficult to be optimistic.
He said he posed the issue to his parishioners last Sunday in a sermon in the hope it would stimulate thinking.
“I asked parishioners to look at all political parties particularly in relation to social issues such as this and the environment,” he said.
Labor candidate for the upcoming election for the seat of Calare, Jess Jennings, said his party’s model differed to that of the Coalition.
“The difference is Labor never try to demonise these people,” he said.
“I know what it is like firsthand to be in a family who had to flee their country as a refugee after the Russians invaded Latvia, which is one reason I am pleased our party is looking at raising our intake from 20,000 refugees to 27,000.”