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Monday, 24 February 2014
Page: 554

Asylum Seekers

Mr MARLES (Corio) (14:32): My question is to the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection. In light of the minister's previous answer, precisely at what time and on which day was the minister first advised that the information he provided in his previous press conferences was wrong?

The SPEAKER: I will call the honourable the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, but I do note that much of the information sought was contained in the previous answer. But the minister can have the call.

Mr MORRISON (CookMinister for Immigration and Border Protection) (14:32): I am happy to answer, Madam Speaker. I advised in my previous answer that on Tuesday afternoon I received a further briefing and I reported on that afternoon that there were conflicting reports. That is what I said on Tuesday afternoon. Over the balance of the week, I received further information and on Saturday I received information that made it clear that it was essential to correct the record, which I did on Saturday.

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Members on my left, you have asked for the information—

Mr MORRISON: There will be a formal review into these matters and that formal review will investigate all of the issues that relate to this incident. That would include how this centre was specified and who set it up and how it was set up. It will go into the performance of the service contractors that those opposite contracted. It will go into the security arrangements that were put in place and left to the opposition when we formed government.

Ms Owens interjecting

The SPEAKER: Order, the member for Parramatta!

Mr MORRISON: It will go into all of those matters, and it will go into my conduct and the conduct of those on this side and our handling of these issues since we took over responsibility for these centres. We identified that there was a $1.2 billion funding black hole for the operation of the offshore processing centres.

Mr Bowen interjecting

Mr MORRISON: That is the figure from MYEFO. The shadow Treasurer interjects opposite that it is not the right figure. Maybe he has trouble counting, but there was a $1.2 billion funding black hole that went to issues such as security infrastructure and the size and capacity of the centre.

I know those opposite will be concerned about the specifications and arrangements they put in place in Manus Island. The Manager of Opposition Business once boasted that he could build a 10,000-man camp on Manus Island. I just shudder to think how something like that could have been run safely on Manus Island.

But we on this side of the House, and I as minister, took steps early in September to commission a force protection assessment review of security arrangements on Manus Island. It listed a long list of things that needed to be conducted and performed, and we have been implementing them over several months. So I look forward to the review.

Mr Husic: It's not TheShipping News, but there is a lot of fiction!

The SPEAKER: The member for Chifley is warned!