A FORMER prime minister has labelled Australia's current and most recent policies regarding asylum seekers as the most inhumane of any western democracy.
"We have the most inhumane policies of any western democracy in the entire world"
In an interview with The Courier, Malcolm Fraser called on the government to have a complete reversal in how they handle asylum seekers.
"Especially in relation to asylum seekers, we have the most inhumane policies of any western democracy in the entire world," he said.
"I have had people from Europe, who are not really interested in Australia, but they all know the inhumanities of our asylum seeker policies.
"The problems they have with asylum seekers in Europe are infinitely greater than what we have."
Mr Fraser said there had been changes over the past century to immigration and opinion on asylum seeker policy, however, criticised recent governments for their approach.
"Both political parties decided that they could play a race card, build up a fear of boat people, of refugees, of asylum seekers generally and at some point we will have turn our backs on those policies and develop something," he said.
"We do need to have to have a complete reversal but where is it going to come from in current political classes."
Mr Fraser said he believed Australia would need to grow its population if it was to consider itself strategically independent from the United States.
This issue is at the core of Mr Fraser's new book, Dangerous Allies, which he will be in Ballarat to promote next week.
In the book he calls upon Australia to develop more independence in regard to foreign policy and not rely on direction from other international powers.
"If we want to be strategically independent, Australia as a whole needs to have a greater population than we now have," he said.
"If we had a more open door policy we would have thousands of people coming to Australia."
Mr Fraser highlighted a migration policy after World War II which he believed changed Australia for the better.
Mr Fraser will speak about his political life and new book at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka on Thursday, May 8, however the event is booked out.