Thursday, 9 February 2017
Questions without Notice: Take Note of Answers
You are right, Chair, it is a debating point, and it is about a grade 7 or 8 debating team point, if I might say so myself. This is the legal fiction, the legal fig leaf that the government hides behind here. But what Senator Brandis cannot avoid is that it is Australian government policy that results in this torture. He cannot avoid that it is Australian taxpayers' money allocated by his government that is funding this torture, and he cannot avoid the fact that our fellow human beings, who have done nothing wrong and who have reached out a hand to Australia for help and assistance in their time of desperate need, are being tortured, are being treated inhumanely and are losing hope in Australia's offshore detention centres.
I want to end by saying in a very sombre and guarded way that the temperature at the moment is very high in Lombrum in particular on Manus Island. I was the Minister for Corrections and Consumer Protection in Tasmania for nearly four years, and I know what happens when the temperature goes up in detention facilities. There is a risk of violence and harm, and I do not want to see that in Lombrum or anywhere else. Finally, I want to say: if someone dies as a result of being sent back to their country of origin, Senator Brandis will have their blood on his hands. (Time expired)
Question agreed to.