House debates

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Private Members’ Business

Asylum Seekers

9:11 am

Photo of Jamie BriggsJamie Briggs (Mayo, Liberal Party, Chairman of the Scrutiny of Government Waste Committee) Share this | Hansard source

I second the motion the member for Cook has moved to suspend standing orders to allow me to move the motion on the Notice Paper in relation to the decision by the government to establish a detention facility in Inverbrackie without consultation. The member for Cook is doing a fantastic job and has just done a fantastic job in holding this government to account on this failure to manage Australia’s borders.

Last Monday my community was ambushed by a government which has lost control of Australia’s borders—so much so that the Prime Minister was actually in the Adelaide Hills the day before the announcement and she failed absolutely to mention a word of the planned facility, which was just 17 kilometres down the road from where she was on the Sunday. Her defence is that she could not ask the community what they thought because she was following cabinet convention. Well, that has not stopped her in the past, it must be said: this is a Prime Minister who sent a staffer to a National Security Committee meeting in the past, as referred to in the Australian during the election. This is a Prime Minister who does not care too much about cabinet convention when it suits. The Prime Minister has used this as an excuse for her lack of courage to face my community last Sunday and tell them what her plan was. She is either incompetent or she lacked the courage to do so.

This motion seeks to do what the government should have done in the first place. In fact, it was actually the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship who promised he would do this in that first place. This minister, on Perth radio on 17 December, said, ‘I would talk to, and we would talk to, the relevant shire there and the authorities about what we are contemplating there and, if we were to do so, get their feedback.’ Well, he did not speak to the Adelaide Hills Council. He called them an hour before the decision was made—in fact, an official called an hour before the decision was made. The Labor Premier, Mike Rann, got a call an hour before the decision was made. He used parliament in South Australia yesterday to say how angry he was, how disappointed he was, that this minister and this Prime Minister have failed to consult with the South Australian government on this decision.

But the minister went further on Perth radio. He said: ‘But I’d be more than happy to talk to local communities.’ What a complete and utter fib! You have not been anywhere near the Adelaide Hills, Minister. You were not there last Thursday night.


No comments