Cracks begin to appear in the Labor Party

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Posted by David Chibo ( on January 28, 2002 at 23:35:31:

-----Original Message-----
From: Plibersek, Tanya (MP)
Sent: Thursday, 24 January 2002 1:29 PM
To: Plibersek, Tanya (MP)

Thank you for your e-mail about refugees.

I agree with many of the sentiments you have expressed, and said as
much in public and in parliament.

I am attaching an article I wrote which was published in the Herald a
few weeks ago, as well as speeches I have made in parliament (even before
the Tampa crisis) about conditions in detention centres etc. I was
probably the only major party candidate in the country to call for a "fair and
humane approach to dealing with refugees" in her election material.

A group has been set up, called Labor for Refugees, for party members
and members of affiliated unions. We are campaigning to improve Labor
policy in this area, and will be participating in organising the national
day of action etc. If you want to join, contact
for more details of meetings and our charter.

While I understand your frustration, you must consider that Labor in
government had a much more compassionate and rational approach to
asylum seekers. If elected at the last election, we would not have persisted
with the wedge politics that Phillip Ruddock is exploiting so well. We
made public comitments to get rid of Temporary Protection Visas, end
privatised running of detention centres, have a royal commission into the
conditions in detention centres - all of this during a time when we were being
accused of running scared of the racist vote.

Please take the time to read some of my past comments.


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