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Torres Strait islanders invite PM to visit

Torres Strait islanders “embarrassed” by Scott Morrison’s appearance at last month’s Pacific Islands Forum will request he visit their region to view the impacts of climate change.

Warraber man Kabay Tamu, representing a group of islanders who have complained to the United Nations about climate-based human rights breaches, will deliver the invitation to Australia’s delegation at the UN climate summit in New York next week.

“We’re urging the Prime Minister to visit our islands, meet our communities and see the climate crisis for himself,” Mr Tamu said.

In May, the group from four islands went to the UN Human Rights Committee in Switzerland to accuse the Morrison government of breaching their human rights because of inaction on climate change.

They say they are losing their homes to rising seas.

Mr Tamu took issue with the Australian position at the recent Pacific Islands Forum when Mr Morrison rejected smaller nations’ calls for an immediate global ban on new coal-fired power plants and coal mines.

“As fellow islanders, we were embarrassed by Australia’s showing,” Mr Tamu said.

Mr Tamu also criticised the prime minister’s decision not to attend the UN summit despite being in the United States to meet President Donald Trump, sending Australia’s foreign minister instead.

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