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Transcript of interview with Ray Hadley: Radio 2GB: 24 March 2014: illegal boat arrival charged with criminal offence; PNG Regional and Resettlement Arrangement; Armidale Class patrol boats



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Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

Scott Morrison

Illegal boat arrival charged with criminal offence, PNG Regional and Resettlement Arrangement, Armidale Class patrol boats

Monday, 24 March 2014

Interview with Ray Hadley, 2GB Ray Hadley Program

Hadley: [audio begins]…wanted in Victoria and we didn't know exactly what it was about at the time. We since found out it was over the alleged abduction and sexual assault of a nine year old boy. At two o'clock last Tuesday police from the NSW sex crimes squad operating on excellent information they had obtained were contacted by Victorian officers, they told them they were seeking a bloke in NSW. Now they did some really good work, really good work because shortly before 11 o'clock that night NSW detectives had already located the man, they pulled over a car on Parramatta Road in Auburn and they nabbed him. The driver, a 21 year old man was arrested and charged by virtue of an interstate arrest warrant. He was then refused bail and extradited to Melbourne on Thursday where it is understood he faced court on Friday. I now have more information on the matter suggesting the man involved is actually an asylum seeker from Afghanistan. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison is on the line. Minister can you confirm that? Good morning.

Minister Morrison: Well I can Ray and he is on remand in Victoria.

Hadley: In custody?

Minister Morrison: That's right.

Hadley: Now, it is a very serious assault and the details have been given to me, it relates to a nine year old boy and it is a very serious sexual assault not that I am underplaying other types of sexual assault but I am talking about the most heinous way of dealing with a nine year old.

Minister Morrison: Well these are very serious charges and obviously they are before the courts Ray so there is not much I can comment further on that and that process will work its way through the courts. But you know what our policy is, I mean I have cancelled 56 bridging visas to those who are illegal maritime arrivals who are in the community who have been charged with various offences and our policy is if that's what happens then you don't go out of detention. If this individual for whatever reason happens to be released by the court to face it on another occasion then he will go straight back into detention.

Hadley: I might mention that NSW Police did an outstanding job they nabbed him within nine hours of being told they were looking for him and it wasn't just a random vehicle check on Parramatta Road, they targeted him and got him in custody within nine hours of being told by Victorian police they were looking for him.

Minister Morrison: Well it is an excellent job and I want to commend the NSW Police Force and the Victorian Police Force for the way they conduct themselves with all of these matters. We work very closely with police around the country. It was something we made very clear before the election, we provide the details of where people are and where they are released into the community so police are aware of people's presence. Not just for matters like this but also to ensure their own protection and in the community.

Hadley: Ok now. Captain Emad, we are hoping for an update but I believe because of the sensitive legal processes in relation not so much to him but his family we are still waiting to hear?

Minister Morrison: We are still waiting, I mean there is a lot happening but it wouldn't be helpful for me to canvas what that is on the airwaves.

Hadley: Ok. PNG, Papua New Guinea they warn some of the 1300 boat people currently housed on Manus Island may have to be sent back here or elsewhere. The Australian reports the PNG government have received legal advice that some of the detainees are not refugees. What is going to happen to them?

Minister Morrison: Well the processing is underway and the Prime Minister's visit on the weekend I think assisted the things that we are already doing to get that processing to a point of some decisions and I think we are getting very close to some decisions there now and they have said that by about May they will be in a position to start resettling people in Papua New Guinea. No one is coming back here to Australia. The agreement with Papua New Guinea I think is very clear in their undertakings to resettle people in Papua New Guinea and if there are any other nations that are prepared to get involved with that then those opportunities will be pursued. But the only place the people there, at the moment and I would think into the future, are going to be if they are found to be refugees is in Papua New Guinea. And if they are found not to be refugees well they will stay in detention or they will go home.

Hadley: What is the legal standing of actually putting them on a plane and sending them back from whence they came?

Minister Morrison: The same challenges that exist for the more than 30 000 people that Labor left here on our own shores before they started offshore processing and where you can get those travel documents and where you can get the other countries to receive them back, then that is exactly what you do. If they voluntarily decide to go back then that process becomes a lot quicker and that is why the option if you are found not to be a refugee as well you can stay in detention and if you don't cooperate with going back that is where you will be.

Hadley: The Australian has got a story this morning about the patrol boat fleet used to intercept boat people. The Armidale Class patrol boats according to them are riddled with defects. Have you got any information on whether we are putting a strain on them by their use in our northern waters?

Minister Morrison: Well they are certainly not under the same strain they were previously. When you have over 800 illegal maritime arrival vessels turn up that puts

an enormous strain on the fleet and that has been the overwhelming principle, in fact I would say sole cause, for the reasons that the fleet have had the difficulties they have and it really did stretch them beyond I think what the original intent was for that sort of level of tempo of operations. What we have been able to do thanks to the great work of all of those involved in the Navy as well as Customs and Border Protection is we are maintaining a very strong fleet to the North but obviously these vessels under that workload where they were running a taxi service for so many years, flat strap 24/7 ferrying people to Christmas Island on behalf of people smugglers, well that is not happening anymore and we have had 95 days today, Ray, without a successful people smuggling venture to Australia. That is something we are very pleased about and that is due entirely to the great work which is being done by our Navy and Customs and Border Protection officers.

Hadley: As always thanks for your time, we'll chat next week.

Minister Morrison: Thanks Ray.

Hadley: Immigration Minister Scott Morrison on the line.