August 16, 2011
MORE than half the population believes asylum seekers arriving by boat should be landed and processed in Australia, contradicting the policies of the two main parties, which advocate processing in a third country, a poll finds.
The latest Herald/Nielsen poll of 1400 people was taken from Thursday night to Saturday evening, after the High Court imposed an injunction on the Malaysia plan.
The poll finds 53 per cent of voters preferred that asylum seekers arriving by boat be allowed to land in Australia to be assessed.
Only 28 per cent felt they should be sent to another country for assessment, the approach of Labor and the Coalition, while 15 per cent said the arrivals should be ”sent back out to sea”.
Of those who thought asylum seekers should be processed in Australia, 55 per cent thought they should be held in detention while being processed, and 41 per cent thought they should be allowed to live in the community.
Half of those who opted for assessment in Australia or a third country thought those found to be refugees should be allowed to settle in Australia permanently.
The Greens are the only party that advocates processing asylum seekers in Australia. The government’s policy centres on Malaysia and Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, while the Coalition would send the asylum seekers to Nauru.
A Labor MP from Victoria, Anna Burke, spoke out yesterday against her party’s Malaysia plan. ”I’m very concerned that we can’t really guarantee the safety of the individuals, the 800 who will be sent there,” she told the ABC.