Standing up for Canberra

Syrian Refugee Crisis

If anything has mobilised the world to act on Syria and what is happening in the Middle East, it has been the image of that little boy—the body of Aylan Kurdi washed up on the beach. The image is so haunting and so deeply moving that I think it will stay with most of us and linger with us for the rest of our lives.

We saw that large, muscular official holding and carrying that tiny little body, but it is not a normal child's body that is limp with drowsiness or sleep; it is a dead child's body and it is stiff with a lack of life.

That is why I commend the Leader of the Opposition, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition and the shadow minister for immigration and border protection for today calling on the government to show genuine compassion and leadership and provide real assistance to refugees displaced by the conflict in the Middle East. They called on the government to ensure that Australia works towards making an offer of 10,000 additional places for refugees as a one-off additional increase in the humanitarian program on top of Australia's existing intake and, in addition, to immediately contribute an extra $100 million towards humanitarian relief efforts.

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