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Bishop appalled at major parties stance on asylum issue

Bishop Brian Heenan expressed his concerns regarding the approach of the major political parties towards asylum seekers yesterday.
Bishop Brian Heenan expressed his concerns regarding the approach of the major political parties towards asylum seekers yesterday. Chris Ison

WITH the Federal Election just around the corner, Catholic Bishop of Rockhampton Brian Heenan yesterday expressed his concerns regarding the approach of the major political parties towards asylum seekers.

Bishop Heenan, said he was "appalled" at the policies of both Labor and the Opposition on this issue.

"We (Australia) pride ourselves on being the land of the fair go and being fair dinkum on helping people; but we have desperate people needing help and because they've come in the wrong way, they won't get help and will be sent to poorer countries," Bishop Heenan said.

"To me it's the shedding of a clear responsibility, which falls on Australians shoulders."

The Morning Bulletin approached Bishop Heenan and leaders of other denominations in Rockhampton for their thoughts heading into the election.

This followed a report in yesterday's edition where the LNP's candidate for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, was criticised for attending a service at St Paul's Cathedral on the weekend. One parishioner accused Ms Landry of attempting to garner votes by attending the service.

Bishop Heenan, who was the only religious leader prepared to comment, said he understood the asylum seeker issue was complex, but was sure anyone in a desperate situation would do the same and flee their country, giving their family a better chance.

While not endorsing any particular party, Bishop Heenan said: "We need to look at the party that will bring together the common good for most people in this country."

Topics:  bishop heenan, federal election 2013, politics, rockhampton


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