The Australian rock musician Jimmy Barnes had some strong words for the Australian government ahead of a rally on the Parliament House lawn in Canberra to remove children and their families from indefinite detention on Nauru.
Tuesday’s rally saw the delivery of a petition of 170,000 signatures to the government by the newly elected member for Wentworth, independent MP Dr Kerryn Phelps.
Barnes pointed to his own heritage: “I’m an immigrant,” he said. “I came to Australia in a boat. We were running away from poverty and violence in Scotland, and what we fled was nothing compared to what these people have tried to get away from.
“We should be helping them. Taking these people and sticking them on an island, indefinitely, is not the Australian way.”
Since the launch of the Kids off Nauru campaign three months ago by refugee advocacy groups, around 110 of the 119 children and their families had been brought to Australia after five years in detention on the island.
The Asylum Centre Resource Centre estimated only 40 percent of Australians were aware children were being held in detention at the time the campaign was launched. Many had spent their entire lives on the island.… Read more..