Labor’s asylum seeker policy under heavy attack from foes

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LUCKY TO BE ALIVE: Alan Lappin suffered a heart attack last Thursday and has been forced to pull out of the race for Indi.

ROBYN Walsh has defended the Labor Party’s controversial asylum seeker policy.

The Indi election candidate told a forum on Monday she supports her party’s plan to send asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea (PNG) because it is right for people already waiting to leave countries like Pakistan and those who take risks on boats.

“I want everybody here to think about the women and children who have drowned,” she said.

“It’s not an easy question, we can’t give glib answers.”

But Ms Walsh did not have any support on the panel.

The Greens’ Jenny O’Connor and independents, Alan Lappin and Jennifer Podesta, all condemned the treatment of asylum seekers.

“It’s a disgrace on this nation… They are treating people who are in desperate need as if they are criminals,” Ms O’Connor said.

“We should increase our intake, bring people in rapidly to our country and put money into processing before they get onto a boat.”

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