Federal politicians form group to support refugees
Expectations are high for the federal parliament's newly formed refugee support group.
Almost 50 senators and MPs from various parties have joined the Parliamentary Friends of Refugees group to promote fairer refugee and asylum seeker policies.
The group is positioned to play a critical role in improving Australia's response to those seeking protection in the country, Greens senator Nick McKim says.
More than two million refugees are in urgent need of resettlement this year, according to the UN refugee agency.
Earlier this year, the Albanese government announced 19,000 refugees on temporary protection or safe haven visas would be eligible for permanent visas.
The policy extended to anyone who held or applied for either temporary visa type before February 14.
Labor has also reversed an order made by the previous government which relegated family union visas to the bottom of the processing pile.
The government faced a massive backlog of more than 864,000 migration and temporary visa applications waiting to be processed in October.
The Refugee Council of Australia backed the launch of the support group, maintaining both the Liberal-National coalition and Labor governments had shown strong support for refugee resettlement over the past 75 years.
Labor MP Kate Thwaites will chair the parliamentary group alongside Liberal Dan Tehan, Senator McKim and independent Zoe Daniel.
The group will officially launch in Canberra on Monday with guest speakers from refugee backgrounds, including Afghanistan Women's Soccer team captain Fatima Yousufi and Refugee Council chief executive Paul Power.