By SCOTT LIMBRICK
Asylum seeker policy has been widely debated during this election, with some frustrated that it is receiving so much attention, some concerned about the integrity of Australia’s border protection and others concerned about a ‘race to the bottom’ on our treatment of refugees.
With so many announcements trickling out across the campaign it can be hard to keep track.
So where do the parties sit on asylum seekers?
Upon entering government in 2007 Labor dismantled the Howard government’s Pacific Solution.
This policy, in place from 2001, excised thousands of islands from Australia’s migration zone (territory that, when landed upon, could be used to claim asylum), had boats intercepted, and introduced offshore processing.
Since 2007 there has been an increase in the number of irregular boat arrivals, leading to debate over whether this was a result of Labor’s decision to remove the Pacific Solution or due to factors such as increasing conflict in asylum seekers’ countries of origin.
In any case, the government has introduced a number of policies to reduce the number of asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat. Its current core policy is referred to as the ‘Papua New Guinea solution’.