11 We want kids off Nauru
VOTERS back the Coalition’s border policies but want the federal government to transfer children from detention on Nauru to New Zealand, a poll has found.
The YouGov Galaxy poll, commissioned by the Sunday Herald Sun, reveals 79 per cent of Australians want the government to accept a longstanding offer from NZ to resettle refugee children and their families; 13 per cent were opposed. While more than 60 per cent of people back the government’s strong borderprotection policies, half of those polled believe resettling the families would be a step in the right direction and wouldn’t “open the floodgates” to new waves of refugees.
The Morrison Government has been under mounting political pressure to remove children from Nauru after doctors raised fears for their welfare.
Last week, Labor agreed to pass legislation that would allow refugees to move to NZ, as long as the lifetime ban on coming to Australia was limited to the cohort of refugees in Nauru. The government says it needs the ban to ensure refugees wouldn’t use NZ as a backdoor to Australia.
The Opposition also wanted a guarantee from the government that it would accept the longstanding offer by NZ to take in 150 detainees from Manus Island and Nauru.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he wouldn’t do “horse trading” over the issue, and the government was working on a deal to get children off Nauru with crossbench MPs.
But the poll found the Coalition could boost its election chances by accepting the Kiwi deal. About one in four voters said they would be more likely to vote for the Coalition.