Greens asylum seeker policy gains heavyweight support

THE Greens asylum seeker policy to increase Australia's humanitarian intake to 30,000 and close down offshore processing centres has gained support from Australia's most prominent human rights lawyer.

Julian Burnside QC on Sunday endorsed The Greens immigration policy, which would see refugees living and working in Australia on bridging visas.

Australia would save $3.2 billion over the next four years under The Greens policy, the party believes.

"I am delighted that Julian Burnside, one of Australia's most respected human rights and refugee advocates, is supporting Senator Hanson-Young and the Greens' compassionate plan for refugees," Greens leader Senator Christine Milne said.

"Refugees have long been our nation's chief political football, but this election we've hit new lows.

"In the race to cruelty, the old parties are wasting billions of dollars. Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott are burning cash on harsh punishment for innocent and desperate people that could be spent on helping single parents out of poverty or supporting students at universities."

The Greens policy would also set a 30-day time limit on onshore detention for health and security checks before refugees are settled in the community with work rights.