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Greens leader praises dumped Hanson-Young


Greens leader Richard Di Natale insists South Australian Senator Sarah Hanson-Young did a great job speaking up for compassion in the asylum seeker and refugee debate for almost a decade. But that didn’t stop him from dumping her as the party’s immigration spokeswoman.

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“She has been an incredible advocate for refugees… she’s been a voice for compassion,” Senator Di Natale told ABC radio today following a reshuffle of portfolios.

However, he added that it was important to refresh a team following an election.

New immigration spokesman Nick McKim aims to travel to both Nauru and Manus Island to inspect offshore processing centres.

“I’ve always believed in politics that the best way to inform yourself about issues is to see them for yourself,” he said.

“I will give everything I’ve got to close the camps on Manus and Nauru and bring the people … back to Australia.”

Senator McKim, who gave his predecessor a glowing endorsement, said there were no plans to change any of the party’s policies.

But there would be some differences.

“The simple fact is I am not Sarah and Sarah is not me, and inevitably we will have different ways of expressing ourselves,” he said.

“But that shouldn’t be taken to be any indication at all that we are downgrading our work in this area or that our policy will change.”

Senator Hanson-Young said it was the leader’s decision to strip her of the immigration portfolio.

“While I am disappointed, I understand that politics is a team game and will work tirelessly in my new senior portfolio areas of education and finance,” she said.


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