In recent weeks Australians rediscovered their humanity when the tide of public opinion turned in favour of Syrian asylum seekers.
The refugee crisis in Syria and Europe precipitated an outpouring of good will that no cynical government could resist.
The additional intake of 12,000 Syrians on the basis of need is a positive gesture. We all know that Australia can do more.
The Australian Labor Party has a clear policy position as a result of heartfelt and sincere debate at the National Conference in July.
Through a democratic process we voted for an increased intake of refugees, the establishment of faster and fairer processing of refugee claims and increased support for a more collaborative regional approach.
We are not prepared to let the people smugglers get back into business.
The ALP does not support the use of offshore processing centres as punitive holding cells.
We have an obligation to protect the human rights of all people who come to Australia no matter how they come here.
The purgatory created by the Coalition Government on Manus Island and Nauru is a stop gap measure.
The inhumane detention of asylum seekers is a source of national shame.
Locking women and children up in forced detention for jumping the queue is disproportionate punishment.
The Coalition Government who deemed it time to make more Syrians welcome can also find it in their hearts to free the captives on Manus Island when public opinion finds its voice.
Join me in calling on the federal government to find a better way.
Chris Buckingham, Labor candidate for McMillan