Julia Banks joins fight to bring children on Nauru to Australia

first_imgJulia Banks is one of three coalition MPs calling on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to give the go ahead for 80 children on Nauru and their families, some of whom have been in detention for up to five years, to be brought to Australia immediately.The MP’s stance, together with Craig Laundy and Russell Broadbent, coincides with the petition delivered to Parliament House on Monday demanding the children be removed, signed by 6,000 doctors and medical students who cited serious mental and physical health concerns, which has resulted in a number of suicide attempts including by children as young as seven.“I really believe it comes from the hearts and minds of the Australian people,” said Ms Banks.“It is the only decision that can be made based on humanitarian grounds.”If the MPs’ proposal is taken on board, it would see the children and their families brought to Australia temporarily and kept in detention or placed on community bridging visas, and eventually resettled elsewhere.The MPs’ support comes after Nauru’s government ordered Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), which has been providing psychological and psychiatric services on the island since 2017, stop offering their services effective immediately on 6 October, despite the situation having reached tipping point.“We are extremely concerned that the health of our patients may be affected by this decision and urge the authorities to grant us permission to continue our lifesaving work,” said an MSF spokeswoman.While Australia denied any responsibility, Ian Rintoul, a spokesman for the Refugee Action Coalition, didn’t see it that way.“The offshore detention monster created by Australia is indeed out-of-control,” he said.“The deliberate distress of five years of offshore detention has created the medical emergency that we are currently witnessing. The deliberate harm has created a humanitarian disaster.”Just last week MSF also called for the immediate evacuation of all asylum seekers and refugees from the island.“Five years of indefinite limbo has led to a radical deterioration of their mental health and well-being,” the organisation’s Australian executive director Paul McPhun said.Meanwhile the Australian Lawyers Alliance believes Australia’s policy, which currently sees 1,400 people in detention on Manus and Nauru, actually breaks international humanitarian law and argues charges should be laid against the Commonwealth and its contractors.Refugee Council CEO Paul Power has welcomed Banks’ and the other Liberal politicians’ “courage” in putting their concern for vulnerable children above politics.“They are reflecting the views of millions of Australians who are distressed by the psychological harm being caused to refugees being held indefinitely on Nauru and Manus Island,” said Mr Power. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img