Robin Rothfield, a member of the AJDS Executive, has long been an advocate of refugee rights, and has had two letters published recently in the press:
[The Australian, 19 Sept 2011]
THE first step for the Prime Minister to take in reforming the ALP is to abide by decisions of the ALP National Conference, the supreme policy-making body of the party, as embodied in the Natiional Platform, 2009. Chapter 7, paragraph 157 of the Platform states: "Protection claims made in Australia will be assessed by Australians on Australian territory."
Consistent with the platform the Prime Minister must therefore scrap plans for offshore processing.
[The Age, 15 September 2011]
What platform is that?
ACCORDING to your report "Abbott muddies water on boats" (The Age, 13/9), Senator John Faulkner explained to the Labor caucus that under Labor Party rules legislation could not be in breach of the ALP platform. Your report continues that Julia Gillard told a news conference that the plan was in accordance with Labor's platform.
The ALP National Platform states, chapter 7, paragraph 157: ''Protection claims made in Australia will be assessed by Australians on Australian territory'', which is a clear endorsement of onshore processing. Moreover, the Prime Minister, the Minister for Immigration and all Labor MPs would have signed a pledge as parliamentary candidates: ''To do my utmost to carry out the principles embodied in the platform.''