Premier takes asylum-seeker kids to the zoo as state leaders weigh in to debate 101



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Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday visited Melbourne Zoo with two of the children who are likely to be deported to Nauru in the near future.

He posted this emotional plea to the Prime Minister on his Facebook page:

I can’t show you their faces, but I can tell you a bit about these two beautiful kids who I took to the Melbourne…

Posted by Daniel Andrews on Sunday, February 7, 2016

It reads, “I can’t show you their faces, but I can tell you a bit about these two beautiful kids who I took to the Melbourne Zoo.

They’re ordinary Victorians in almost every way. They go to their local primary school; they laugh, they learn, they play.

But one thing is very different: any day now, these two boys will be deported to Nauru and will stay there indefinitely.

Dozens more children face the same fate.

Please, Prime Minister: it doesn’t have to be like this.

Let’s do the right thing by these children and their families. Let’s prove that we really are a fair and decent society.

It was so special meeting these two boys.

Perhaps they don’t really know what might be happening to them. Perhaps they don’t yet understand.

But they love this place. And they certainly loved their trip to the zoo.

They loved seeing the baby animals in their sanctuary, safe and sound.

I wish I could have shown you their faces at that moment. You wouldn’t believe how much they smiled.”

Over the weekend Premier Andrews wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister, asking him to reconsider deporting 267 people, including children and babies back to Nauru following a High Court decision that their offshore processing was legal.

The Premier, who joins Queensland and South Australia’s premiers who have also offered their support, was criticised for using the plight of these children as a political stunt.

His trip to the zoo yesterday coincided with rallies around the nation in support of the men, women and children who will be deported in as soon as a few weeks’ time.

Even Liberal Premier Mike Baird, the premier the whole country loves, has offered the support of New South Wales to look after the asylum-seekers.

On Sunday, he issued a statement complimenting Mr ­Andrews’s “humanitarian impulse” and describing him as “a good man”, The Australian reports.

While he did not go so far as to endorse Mr Andrews’s proposals in the letter (below) Mr Baird did indicate that NSW would be willing to accept the asylum-seekers, saying if the commonwealth had “any additional requests for NSW we are prepared to help”.


Do you this the premiers can convince the federal government to “let them stay”?

Starts at 60 Writers

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  1. I listened to the arguments around this on Q&A and it is complex. The theory sounds great they go back to Nauru and a 3rd country then settles them. It hasn’t worked millions of dollars have been paid to encourage other countries to take them to actually resettle only a handful. I’ve never condoned cruelty to any fellow human, that my country seems to make it policy. It shames us as a country. Let the kids stay.

  2. Forget the visit as a political stunt, think about the humanity that underlies his weekend offer. Getting all snarky with those premiers upholding Aussie values should be praised, and the deporters deplored.

    1 REPLY
  3. Having worked in Community Services all my life, I did wonder the same thing as Ange Muir. I have seem many hundreds of Aussie kids doing it really tough. I dont see the same attention being paid to them, its a shame. Remember charity begins at home people.

    8 REPLY
    • I can only imagine what you witness in your line of work. That’s another issue that needs addressing in this country. But it shouldn’t affect what is happening to these children in this particular predicament as we speak.

    • I agree Wendy. We support an Australian child through the Smith Family. The Smith Family recently wrote and asked us if we could double our monthly support to pay for extra services for our child. We would dearly love to do this however at the moment it is beyond our capability. Maybe in the future we will be able to. I wish all the people on here saying that we should allow these people to stay would consider supporting an Australian child in poverty.

    • Yep Aussie kids are doing it tough and that should be addressed , but that doesn’t mean we should leave these children in limbo, they are in our country whether we like or not and it is up to Australia to ensure they are treated well while they are here. Some of them are only little babies who were born here

    • 2 issues that are not related
      Billions being spent on off shore detention that could be spent in much more effective and human ways if detention was closed people processed in the community quickly
      As has been done previously ( Frazer – Vietnamese, Hawke – Chinese, Menzies – WWll)

    • You can’t leave these people locked up forever . They need to get their acts together and find a country that will take them . At the moment it is cost this country $55 million to settle 3 refugees in Cambodia.. does anyone think that is money well spent? How many Australian children would that feed ? They need to find these people somewhere to call home and let them resume a normal life

    • If you think the money that is being spent on keeping these refugees in concentration camps will be spent on Australian children, think again. We have had issues in the area of neglect of Aussie kids for many years and no one addresses it.. How many Aussie kids are sleeping on the street tonight? The Liberal Government cut funding to the homeless

  4. I don’t believe that by sending them back to Nauru is beneficial to anyone, these people are human beings and should be treated as such, oh my mistake our Government don’t treat the low income earners or PENSIONERS like human beings so why should I expect any difference in this situation. Daniel Andrews is just like all Politicians so don’t be sucked in by this after all it is an Election year.

  5. Thank you Wendy I know people who have worked for DHS, as you know the things you see, give you nightmares. More power to you Wendy.

  6. Charity begins at home .Look after own first.

    1 REPLY
    • I don’t even know what that means. It’s one of those statements that have been used forever to justify tribal and nationalist thinking. Someone should have said “Charity begins with those most in need” or “Charity doesn’t need rationing when we can help those in front of us, pleading for their lives”.

  7. Don’t forget that this is the guy that wants to sell off Disability Services. No money for our people who need looking after but able to throw $$ at refugees!!!! Disgusting Daniel Andrews.

  8. How could anyone think for one minute this plea to the PM is a political stunt. It’s simply someone with enough clout trying to sway someone with more clout to change a situation that needs changing, and quickly. Your cynicism is not warranted in this instance.

  9. I bet the tax payers forked out for the kids and carers to go to the zoo so why should he be patted on the back for doing something for the kids.

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