A poll of over a thousand Australians was conducted recently, and findings showed the true Australia; the one that is compassionate, empathetic and welcoming. 

The survey polled over 1400 Aussies, and the majority – around 63% – disagreed with current government policy regarding the treatment of asylum seekers.

Currently, the Liberal government denies all asylum seekers arriving by boat entry or settlement in Australia, and forces them into offshore detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island. Labor has consistently said they agree with and will continue the Coalition’s current policies on refugees. 

The poll, commissioned by The Australia Institute, was conducted by Research Now in May and June this year. 

Polling found: 

    • 22% of Australians agree with current bipartisan policy. 
    • 35% of Australians said those seeking asylum should be processed offshore, but those found to be “genuine” refugees should be brought to Australia and settled as soon as possible, and those found not to be “genuine” be returned to their country of origin.
    • 28% of Australians said refugees should be brought to Australia and processed here. They believe those found to be “genuine” should be settled, and those found not to be “genuine” should be returned to their country of origin. 

The poll also found that around 66% of participants thought that doctors and staff in the offshore detention centres should be allowed to speak out about conditions, and be allowed to report incidents of abuse to police. 

Currently, the Border Force Act 2015 imposes a penalty of 2 years jail on any ‘entrusted person’ who speaks out about any of the conditions or treatment inside the camps. 

You can read more about this poll and its findings HERE.

Source: The Australia Institute via The Guardian

Photo: Anadolu Agency / Getty.