By Victoria Hynes Posted February 04, 2018 08:02:51 Victoria Hynes, ABC NewsVictoria’s Labor Party says it wants to see the party return to “a more traditional form” and will stop its “obsession” with immigration.
Key points:Liz Morrison’s government is trying to end the party’s obsession with immigrationIt is seeking to end a “lack of empathy” for immigrantsThe party says it will stop supporting the Greens, who are running on an anti-immigration platformThe Labor Party wants to end “obsessions” with immigrants, but its position has changed over time, says party’s deputy leaderCalls to end support for the Greens have sparked a backlash from its members who say the party is too soft on immigration and the Greens are out of touchThe Greens are the only party with an immigration policy that has a platform that says the party supports ending “obsessed” immigration, but that does not include the Greens.
The party has long said it is not wedded to the party line on immigration.
However, the latest policy document released by the party on Friday shows the party will no longer support the Greens or any other Greens candidates for state and federal office.
The document, called “the Greens New Agenda 2016”, says the ALP is “not committed to an immigration agenda that is pro-business, pro-wealth, pro, pro – anything but pro-Australia”.
“The Greens New Australia 2020 has a different vision for Australia than the Coalition New Agenda,” it says.
“We recognise that we are at the beginning of a long, difficult and uncertain journey but believe that the time is right to take bold and radical steps forward in the face of increasing barriers to citizenship, an ageing population and declining income opportunities.”
The Party has made clear its position on immigration for over 30 years and the time to turn that around is now.
We are now on the path to an Australia where Australians feel safe, secure and welcome to live and work in their communities.
“This is the Labor party, the party of immigration and it is time for us to do what Labor does best – to stand up for the people who matter most.”
The party also says it supports the Greens on the issue of “a comprehensive approach to tackling climate change” but not the Greens “anti-immigration” platform.
Ms Morrison’s deputy, Josh Frydenberg, told the ABC’s 7.30 program on Saturday the party would not support the new policies.
“As a party we have got to stand our ground and we have to stop doing this [obsession with immigration] which has been going on for 30 years, we have had a history of being anti-immigrant and anti-Australian in Australia,” Mr Frydenburg said.
“I think there are people in our party who want to change the policies that are being put forward by the Greens.”
The Greens have been running an anti -immigration platform since 2014.
In November, the Greens released their “New Agenda 2020” manifesto and included a call for an end to immigration.
The platform, which has not yet been released, says the Greens will end “abusive and exploitative immigration”, including “favouring a return to a more traditional and inclusive immigration system that allows for people to seek citizenship on the basis of merit and in line with their skills”.
The party’s executive member, Kate Green, told reporters the party had not changed its position.
“What we have been saying is the party does not have a policy that is anti-people and anti immigrant, but a policy which will be for Australia and Australia’s future, not against people and not against Australia,” Ms Green said.
Ms Green said the party was working with the government on the “New Deal”.
“We will continue to work closely with the Labor government to bring about an Australia-first, more secure, more equitable and just society,” she said.
The ABC has contacted the Labor leader, Ms Morrison, for comment.
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