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Transcript of interview with Ray Hadley: 2GB Sydney: 23 August 2013: The Coalition's policy for a Regional Deterrence Framework to combat people smuggling

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Scott Morrison MP Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Shadow Minister for Productivity and Population Coalition Campaign Spokesman

Friday 23 August 2013

Interview with Ray Hadley, 2GB Sydney

Subjects: The Coalition’s policy for a Regional Deterrence Framework to combat people smuggling




Scott Morrison, the Shadow Immigration Minister is in Darwin. The Coalition, as you’ve probably heard already this morning, is announcing another element of their policy to deal with illegal boat arrivals. Now the plan involves - it’s been suggested on this program many, many times - a sort of a boat buy-back scheme in Indonesia and payments to locals who provide information about people smugglers leading to an arrest or disruption of the trade. The village watch programme would be similar to a scheme set up after the Bali bombings to identify extremists. The Coalition plans to increase Australian Federal police resources with the permission of Indonesia and Malaysia and Sri Lanka. The policy will see navy and customs vessels only used for interception of boats, rather than ferrying boat people to detention centres with the Opposition looking at leasing a fleet of faster transfer vessels to take the boat people to the nearest port including third countries. The boat people would then be flown to Nauru or Manus

Island, bypassing Australia altogether, no need to go to Christmas Island. The Shadow Immigration Minister, as I said, in Darwin, Scott Morrison, good morning to you.


G’day Ray.


It’s a funny thing. I was getting emails, I would suspect 12 months ago, people saying the same thing - they must run out of these boats shortly, the ones that ferry people to near Christmas Island, and then other people saying what happens when we get them and I say well, they’re scuttled, they’re sent to the bottom of the ocean. But obviously, this is an opportunity with the cooperation which you haven’t got from Indonesia to go to Indonesia and set up some sort of plan to discourage people from selling their boats to people smugglers.


Well that’s right. There’s a lot of common sense out there, you and I both know, and this suggestion has been made on many occasions. We’ve had a good close look at it. What’s important is that when it costs Australia around about just under $13 million every time a boat turns up in Australia, taking the preventative action and giving the Federal Police, the Indonesian National Police or as well as over in other countries, this option to be able to go and get that boat and go and take it out and scuttle it and take it out of the hands of people smugglers is just another way. Plus the bounty scheme which you mentioned in your introduction. But you’ve also got to have the Special Operations funding up in Indonesia, which the Government’s stripped away and hasn’t renewed and they’ve actually taken Federal Police out of Indonesia at the moment, which just defies belief that they would do that when they say they are getting tough on people smuggling and they are actually taking the Federal Police out of Indonesia, who play such an important role. So we’ll commit to that, it’s a significant commitment. We’ve got $20 million that we are going to commit on the community outreach programme. It says ‘Village Watch’ in the Tele today. I think that’s another good way of explaining it but it is about working with those communities to get the intelligence to get ahead of the smugglers and be able to disrupt before anyone gets on a boat.


We haven’t had a notification for two days now about boats. The last one I’ve got is 106 on the 18th of August and we don’t normally, if one arrived for instance on Wednesday or yesterday, we wouldn’t know about that probably until later today or maybe tomorrow or Monday at the earliest. But it stands to date for this year, 2013, at 19,100. The monthly total has not slowed in any way, shape or form, despite what the Government says. The monthly total stands at the moment at 1,496. Now for the same month last year, up to and including the 30th of August, it was 1,970 and we’ve still got, obviously, 13 days to go to

include in the total and it will, I guess understandably, get close to the 1,970 by the way things are happening at the moment. Now, we’ve had since Kevin Rudd made the announcement about the PNG solution, the 19th of July, 40 boats and almost 2,900 people, of which the 2,900 only 300 and a few more have gone to Manus Island. Meaning that 2,500-2,600 are still on Christmas Island.


That’s right, that’s absolutely right. I mean, only under the Labor Party could they think almost 3,000 people turning up on 40 boats was a success. That’s Labor’s standards and that, I think, speaks for itself. The weather also, as you know Ray, plays significantly into this about when they get on boats and my understanding is that the weather’s been playing up a fair bit with things of late and I think, at the moment, things are pretty messy up there at the moment at sea. So I’m not expecting to see anything today or something like that, but you never know because we know people go and take these risks. That’s why we’re announcing what we are today, you’ve got to do turn backs, you’ve got to do offshore processing, you’ve got to do temporary protection visas, all of those things, but you’ve also got to do the practical things up in the region as well. If we want strong borders in Australia, we need strong borders in the region. It’s not about just going to conferences and talking about it, you’ve got to actually do things like give your police the resources to do the job. It’s like trying to tackle crime in Sydney, you’ve got to give your police the resources and have the people and you were mentioning Ray King before, out there in McMahon. Ray King knows all about that, he knows all about the resources you need to fight crime in Western Sydney.


Well just one other thing, I’ll come back to Mr King and Mr Bowen many times through the course of the morning because the treatment of Ray King by Mr Bowen and others is reprehensible. Absolutely. In fact, while I’m talking to you I’m just reading an article here published today in the Australian where the ALP Campaign Headquarters spokesman Andy, I should say, Adam Collins, stuck by the party’s allegation against Ray King, when asked to provide proof to back them up by the Australian he cited public documents he declined to identify. Well the public documents may well be the Royal Commission where he’s cleared of any wrongdoing and no charges were raised against him, as was the case with many police officers. But back to Darwin. You know that I have my aeroplane trackers here. I’ve got people that email me and tell me when flights of Qantas - we’ve had four in three days bringing hundreds and hundreds of people south to either Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney or Adelaide. Now they won’t tell us where they are being brought to, all we know is that there was a Qantas plane going up empty and my plane trackers can tell me by what altitude they are flying at that they are empty, they pick up people and come back. But it appears the Department of Immigration, who were telling me where they were going to three weeks ago, have stopped in election mode telling me where they go.


Well I can tell you where they are probably going, they are being released into the community and the Government’s been releasing people into the community. There’s around about 20,000. They still refuse point blank to give police around the country the address details of where people are being released into the community. There is still no Memorandum of Understanding between our State Police in New South Wales or in Western Australia where I was earlier this week, where this became relevant when five people went over the fence, and there’s no arrangement between the Western Australian State Police and the Commonwealth, so it all goes into a black hole. The cooperation between the police or the health services or so on, when you’ve got people going into the community, is really important for the reasons we’ve talked on your programme about many times, and they just refuse to lift a finger on it. It’s extraordinarily frustrating and that’s why it’s important we understand the challenges the police face. We’ve got Russell Matheson out there in Macarthur as well, and there’s another bloke Jason Wood who is running, he’s a police officer down in Victoria, he’s running in the seat of La Trobe, he’s been in the Parliament before. So, on our side, we tend to get this and that’s why it would be great to see Ray King there with us on the other side of an election.


Ok thanks for your time, Scott.


Thanks a lot, Ray.


Shadow Immigration spokesperson Scott Morrison from Darwin for the Liberal Party there.