Monday, 23 November 2009
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister tell the House if the asylum seekers medivaced following the riot on Christmas Island will now be offered a special deal like the Oceanic Viking asylum seekers?
Once the individuals have been appropriately treated, I am sure they will then be processed consistent with those procedures which apply to Christmas Island. That is the first point. The second point I would make in response to the honourable member’s question is her interesting interview this morning about where in fact these individuals should be processed. It is a little bit confusing but, when asked about it this morning by Jon Faine on the radio, on the one hand you said that the opposition is saying that ‘we should continue some sort of processing without allowing people to land in Australia,’ now you are also, at the same time, saying that we ‘should use facilities that are on the mainland’. Then the member for Murray goes on in her answer:
There comes a time when a small place like Christmas Island simply cannot continue to have thousands upon thousands stacked up, even at the big facility that Christmas Island was when it was built.
If you do not take them to Christmas Island, I suggest that the only alternative being advocated by the member for Murray is to bring them to the Australian mainland. Our policy is very simple: it is mandatory detention and it is based on processing offshore on Christmas Island consistent with the arrangements we have put in place for some time.