When it comes to Australian politics, a large number of voters are undeniably thinking: “a plague on both their houses.” Citizen distrust of government is high, and there are still many areas where voters feel that no one is presenting the policy they want.
The treatment of refugees and asylum seekers has been especially contentious this past decade. Tragedy, debate and policy u-turns line up beside an ageing UN convention and huge numbers of refugees worldwide. Simplistic slogans make us think the “problem” has a simple solution, but our policy responses have so far been ineffective at best, and inhumane at worst. As we start to see the reality of climate change refugees in our region, it has never been more crucial to have our house in order.
Of course, it’s easy to disparage our leaders from the sidelines, but can you do better if faced with the real complexities of the situation? Join our panel of experts for this interactive session, and help devise the refugee policy that you think is best.
James O’Loghlin is an author, media personality, and former commercial and criminal lawyer. He has hosted The New Inventors on ABC TV and The Evening Show on 702 ABC Sydney,and currently hosts Sunday Evenings on 702 ABC Sydney.
Chris Berg is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs. He is the author of In Defence of Freedom of Speech: From Ancient Greece to Andrew Bolt and co-editor of 100 Great Books of Freedom: Australian Liberals, Conservatives and Libertarians on Individual Liberty and Prosperity.
Julian Burnside is a Melbourne barrister who has acted for the Ok Tedi people against BHP and the Maritime Union in the 1998 waterfront dispute. He was Senior Counsel assisting the Australian Broadcasting Authority in its Cash for Comment inquiry and represented Liberty Victoria in the Tampa litigation. Julian campaigns publicly for the interests of asylum seekers and refugees in Australia.
Supported by the Sydney Morning Herald.