Broadbent's swipe at refugee groups
 Baw Baw News   By // 23:50, Sunday 22 February 2015

broadbent baw baw australia day awards 2015 warragul by william pj kulich for warragul baw baw citizen

LIBERAL MP for McMillan Russell Broadbent has described complaints about the government’s immigration policies from refugee support groups as “whinging” and suggested the groups could be more constructive.

Above: Russell Broadbent.

First published in the 13 February edition of the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen. Get your copy today from retailers across Baw Baw.


The federal MP, alongside two Liberal colleagues, famously threatened to vote against what he saw as cruel refugee policies pushed by then-prime minister John Howard in 2006.

Talking to the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen, Mr Broadbent said he would support the hardline policies of Tony Abbott until he was given an alternative.

WBBC: The policies coming out at the moment are being highlighted by refugee action groups as being inhumane and you seem to be supporting those policies.

RB: Well they are inhumane, they are supported by both parties at all levels, and my question to those refugee action groups, after they’ve had their scream, after they’ve whinged about human rights, after they have acknowledged that there are flaws in Australia’s treatment of refugees, I then say to them: what is your solution?


WBBC: I think a lot of them have a solution of onshore processing and integration into the community.

RB: Yes, but we have to have very strong border protection which I’ve always advocated for. We have to have a system that’s fair on all people, and we have to have a system that does not allow people who are not refugees at all into this country, which has happened. I know the refugee action groups say this is appalling, I agree! But we must have a responsible answer to Australia’s immigration.

WBBC: At the moment there are people who are legitimate refugees who are ending up in PNG and not Australia under this government’s policies.

RB: There’re legitimate refugees all over the world, they’re called displaced persons. That’s an issue that Australia as a nation has to grapple with. It’s a complicated issue, I’m quite prepared to have long discussions with people about it. But I’m very interested in their solution, not just their criticism of the federal government.

WBBC: Are you hoping there will be a change of policy with the change of minister, or are you happy with the policies as they stand?

RB: I’ve never been happy with the policies as they stand, but I’m also seeking solutions.

WBBC: Some people will look to your history of taking a stronger stand and will wonder what it is you’re doing at the moment?

RB: That is exactly what I’m doing, I’m saying to people criticise me, criticise [the parties], but give me a solution.


WBBC: There are solutions being offered.

RB: There are not solutions being offered. There are suggestions that we take in more people, that we take it from 13,000 to 30,000. Good idea! What do you do with 30,001? I’ll leave you with that.

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6 responses to “Broadbent's swipe at refugee groups”

  1. Marilyn says:

    There is no solution to refugees except to end all wars, persecution and torture and keeping them out is nothing to do with border protection, we don’t have any borders.

  2. Dennis Murray says:

    Mr. Broadbent’s comments are distressing on a number of levels. Leaving his insults of Macmillan electors aside, he is being disingenuous when he asks for electors to come up with solutions to the asylum seeker debacle. Mr. Broadbent well understands that his role as elected member is to listen to the legitimate concerns of the electors and to come up with workable solutions on their behalf. Leadership on behalf of the MacMillan electorate is what he is paid to deliver. I leave it to others to judge why Mr Broadbent is unwilling to do this. A great disappointment, tragic really.

  3. Ian Honey says:

    I agree, we will always have wars because there are certain types who want to use violence as a power over others, because they don’t have the intellectual capacity to win in others ways. As a small Nation we cannot change this. Conflict just finds a new country to settle on from time to time.
    I have travelled widely and lived in two other countries dissimilar to each other. Intellectual laziness and physical laziness in certain societies allow allow the lunatics to fester and take control.
    A cancer of violence then spreads, creating displaced persons. Not all are genuine refugees however, and we should admit genuine cases through the front door, only after they have been duly processed. First, they should be quizzed on their views on how women and children should be treated. Checked also for E Bola,,Mers, and other transmittable diseases. Asked if they will follow Australian laws before any others.

  4. Ian F says:

    While not a particularly articulate or well executed argument, I do agree with the general thrust of Mr. Broadbent’s assertion that refugee support groups rarely put forward any solution to the vexed issue of determining genuine refugee status, other than their mantra that Australia should accept all comers with no questions asked.

  5. Don Sinclair says:

    So we take in more “boat people” and what happens to the genuine ones in camps across the world who cannot pay to come here or wherever. M B is right they come up with groupies but no real solutions. By the way, it was the Labour govt. That cam up with PNG etc. have a go at them to not only the current govt.

  6. Don Sinclair says:

    Should read gripes but still the Greens etc blab but offer nothing