As horrific images of the plight faced by Syrian refugees flood social media, thousands of Australians have decided that it is time to act.
The GetUp! Campaign, Light the Dark, has been staged across Australia over the past three nights. Approximately 700 Tasmanians attended at parliament lawns in Hobart on Monday.
Light the Dark symbolises hope, and solidarity to the millions of Australians who welcome refugees; Light the Dark is a call for our politicians to take action.
Hobart organiser Pip Stafford told the ABC “I know that a lot of people are feeling really frustrated and sad and angry about the current situation.” She said “I think this has come to a head with the images seen on social media and in the news recently.”
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has pledged to do more to help the asylum seekers, in what is the largest movement of displaced people the world has seen since WWII. Concerns have been raised that this offer of support will come at a cost to people who seeking asylum from other countries of the world, as the total intake is expected to remain unchanged.
The opposition is calling for a one-off increase in humanitarian intake, creating room for an additional 10,000 asylum seekers.
Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman has confirmed that Tasmania can take an additional 500 asylum seekers on the new Safe Haven Enterprise Visa.
UPDATE: Prime Minister Tony Abbott has agree to resettle 12, 000 refugees from Syria, in addition to Australia’s existing commitment to take 13, 750 asylum seekers.