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 yesterday seeking federal support for the plan, and to Premier Lara Giddings and Liberal leader Will Hodgman, unsuccessfully seeking a tri- partisan approach.
The plan was originally coined and promoted by human rights lawyer Julian Burnside, seeking a more compassionate approach to housing asylum seekers fleeing persecution abroad.
Mr Burnside said his 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 said while it was unlikely to be supported by Mr Abbott given his current policies, "you have to believe in the essential goodness of people".
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 yesterday morning that Tasmania had a "proud history" of assisting displaced persons from all over the world, including post World War II immigrants and support for Kosovar refugees in 1999.
The letter is likely to fall on deaf ears in Canberra, with Mr Abbott pledging to implement a military-led policy response called "Operation Sovereign Borders".