The "Tasmanian solution'' to house asylum seekers in the state has been sent to Prime Minister Tony Abbott after the Greens decided to put the issue formally to the new Government.
Tasmanian Greens leader Nick McKim wrote to Mr Abbott today seeking federal support for the plan, while also tabling a motion to be debated in the Tasmanian Parliament at a later date.
Winning endorsement for the move in his party-room last night, Mr McKim did acknowledge that any action would require unlikely federal government agreement and funding.
The letter states ``adoption of this proposal with policy and funding support from your government would be a massive economic, skills and jobs boost for Tasmania, which you recently acknowledged was necessary during the recent federal election campaign''.
``While I appreciate your Party's policies on asylum seekers would not currently allow you to support the adoption of this proposal, I ask that you meet with me to discuss the concept,'' Mr McKim writes.
Mr McKim told Parliament this morning that Tasmania had a ``proud history'' of assisting displaced persons from all over the world, including,
Post-World War II immigrants who helped to build many of our hydro schemes,
The agricultural excellence of the Hmong people,
The cultural contribution of our African community, and
The great outpouring of love and support for the Kosovar refugees who sought asylum in 1999.
The letter is likely to fall on deaf ears, with Mr Abbott pledging to implement a military-led response called ``Operation Sovereign Borders''.
The new Federal Governmen'ts plan supports mandatory detention for unexpected arrivals by sea, and boosting existing offshore processing centres.
Mr Burnside's plan would see asylum seekers live in Tasmanian communities after an initial risk assessment, which he says would save billions to the national budget but boost the Tasmanian economy considerably.
Mr McKim has also written to Premier Lara Giddings and Opposition Leader Will Hodgman hoping for a tripartisan approach to the issue, although neither has expressed interest thus far.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ... Twitter: @benmackey