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

Well, I got there! I got to the meeting last Thursday night. Where was the minister? He failed to attend, he failed to consult and he said, ‘The cabinet has decided to make this decision; bad luck to the community.’ Now, when we try to move for a parliamentary committee, the minister says, ‘That’s nothing but a political organisation.’ What about the climate change committee? What about the Murray-Darling Basin committee? Are they political organisations as well, Minister? You have lost control of this issue, Minister, and you should front up to the Adelaide Hills. You should front up and ask the people’s views on what they think of your decision without having consulted them.

This motion should be supported, because my community deserve to have their say. Let the sunshine flow in. Let the committee raise these issues. If this could happen to my community, it could happen to any community represented in this place. We had the member for Hughes yesterday asking very relevant questions of the Prime Minister, and all he got was shrill abuse and no ruling out of the facility at Holsworthy. What about the member for McEwen? What will happen when Puckapunyal is used as one of these facilities? What will the member for McEwen say to his community? If the government can get away with this today, they can get away with it next week and the week after.

This motion should be debated because my community deserve the right to have their voices heard. They deserve the right to have their concerns raised in this place. Premier Mike Rann raised their concerns in the South Australian parliament yesterday; why can’t my community have them raised in the Australian parliament? This government have lost control of Australia’s borders. They are all at sea. This minister is all at sea. This decision was known last Sunday. The community should have been told last Sunday by the Prime Minister. They should have had had the opportunity to raise these issues. It was a cowardly thing to do to roll up and use the Adelaide Hills as a photo opportunity but to fail to consult.

Where are the South Australian members of this place today? The Minister for Mental Health and Ageing was here, but he has left because he is ashamed of the way the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship is treating South Australia. How will the member for Hindmarsh explain to his community the way that this community is being treated? How will he explain to members of the community in Hindmarsh how South Australia is being treated by this government?

This parliamentary committee is not a political organisation. Parliamentary committees are not political organisations. They allow a voice for the community. This motion should be supported to give my community a voice. (Time expired)


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