“I have long been a supporter for fairer treatment of people seeking asylum and in 2006, along with colleagues Petro Georgiou and Judi Moylan, crossed the floor to vote against the Howard Government’s bill ensuring future asylum seekers who arrived by boat would be processed on the island of Nauru, without access to Australian courts.
It was an historical moment, and although we failed in our bid to scuttle the bill, we were overwhelmed by the support of many in the Australian community and overseas.
As I said at the time, ‘The path I take today I did not choose. This path chose me…it is in the long-term national interest of this the great south land to continue to be a compassionate protector of the rights of refugees irrespective of the importance of a close relationship between Australia and one of our neighbours.’
To this day, I proudly remains steadfast in my support of a more compassionate policy toward those seeking asylum and refugees in Australia. El Shaddai, enough, El Shaddai.” – Russell Broadbent MP, Federal Liberal member (VIC)