A RALLY against the asylum seeker policies of both major parties was held in Launceston yesterday and attracted more than 300 people.
The protest, organised by Launceston-based group Safe Asylum, started at Launceston's Brickfields and marched on to Royal Park.
Organiser John Brennan said Labor and Liberal policies contravened the UN Refugee Convention, notably the right not to be expelled or punished.
As a signatory to the convention, Australia is under international obligation to uphold these rights.
Rally MC Jeremy Ball said a lack of leadership from political parties had placed the issue in the hands of the community.
``What's important to Safe Asylum is the fact people are willing to stand up for the human rights of people seeking asylum,'' Mr Ball said.
The event coincided with an announcement from the Coalition of a more hard-line policy against asylum seekers.
Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison announced people seeking asylum would lose free government assistance in appealing their cases under a Coalition government.
``Obviously if any migration advisers or any community organisations want to fund the provision of that support or advice, a Coalition government wouldn't get in the way of that. We just wouldn't be paying for it,'' Mr Morrison was quoted saying in The Age .
Greens Bass candidate Lucy Landon-Lane spoke at the event and Bass Labor MHR Geoff Lyons issued a statement. Liberal Bass candidate Andrew Nikolic did not respond to requests from the group.
Mr Brennan said Safe Asylum's work would continue after next week's election.