Happy with decision

By Benalla Ensign

Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has welcomed the news that the remaining refugee children and their families are being removed from Nauru.

‘‘I am pleased to see this announcement from the government and I congratulate community representatives and refugee advocates for their strong work in this area,’’ Ms McGowan said.

She noted media stories that the government would move to establish an independent medical review panel to assess asylum seeker transfers from Nauru and Manus Island.

‘‘I see the government has written to the Opposition Leader Bill Shorten on this for Labor’s response,’’ she said.

Ms McGowan said compassion and mercy needed to be maintained for those seeking asylum.

‘‘I will not give up on refugees and my voting record speaks for itself on this issue,’’ she said.

‘‘In my speeches and in all my conversations on this topic I have consistently talked about how important it is for Australia to uphold its international obligations.

‘‘Providing support for refugees while keeping our borders secure does not mean we should treat people in anything less than a humane way.

‘‘Communities in Indi have called for compassion and mercy for refugees. This is consistent with getting refugees out of indefinite detention.

‘‘As I said in my statement on January 16, my position on this is unchanged.’’

Ms McGowan said she welcomed the government continuing to listen to the crossbenchers on this and all legislation and would confirm her position when the legislation came to Parliament.