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Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, says Australia’s new memorandum of understanding with Nauru is a missed opportunity to reset our policy on irregular arrivals.

“The Government’s barbaric continuation of Operation Sovereign Borders is cruelty on steroids,” Mr Wilkie said. “It is illegal under international law and a missed opportunity for a policy reset.

“The outpouring of compassion we saw from Australia in response to Afghanistan shows the community wants to open its arms to people fleeing strife.

“Australia must abolish mandatory and indefinite detention, offshore processing and temporary visas. I have proposed an alternative Asia-Pacific regional response to quickly, humanely, legally and affordably resettle asylum seekers consistent with UNHCR guidelines. That’s the direction Australia should be heading in. Labor and Liberal need to stop blocking and get behind it.”