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AUSTRALIA ACCEPTS NEW ZEALAND’S REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT PROPOSAL

Written by on 24/03/2022

Source: news.com.au

Almost ten years after it was proposed, Australia has finally signed a deal with New Zealand to relocate hundreds of refugees.

NZ Prime Minister John Key had made the offer in 2013 but for nine years the Australian government wouldn’t agree to the deal. There were fears it would give refugees an opportunity to enter Australia, avoiding the firm laws on illegal maritime arrivals.

The deal will allow for 450 refugees currently in Australia’s processing centres to be resettled to New Zealand. The Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews did stress that the same conditions would not be applied to future arrivals by boat.

The NZ Minister for Immigration Kris Faafoi welcomed the success of the agreement and Australia’s decision to finally accept it.

“New Zealand has a long and proud history of refugee resettlement and this arrangement is another example of how we are fulfilling our humanitarian international commitment.

We are pleased to be able to provide resettlement outcomes for refugees who would otherwise have continued to face uncertain futures.”

Refugee advocate Craig Foster acknowledged the positive step forward but urged the Australian Prime Minister to do more about the refugee system in place.

“I thank everyone raising their voice around Australia for a commitment to basic decency, our high profile ambassadors, Jacinda Ardern and say well done to Scott Morrison on finally taking the right action.

“It’s just the start, Scott, there are many more steps required to dismantle this beastly system.”