Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Transcript of interview with Marius Benson: ABC News Radio: August 15 2012: Houston Report



Download PDFDownload PDF

Michael Keenan MP - Federal Member for Stirling ABC News Radio Interview with Marius Benson August 15, 2012

Topics: Houston Report

Marius Benson

I am joined by Michael Keenan, who is the Opposition Spokesmen for Border Protection, Michael Keenan good morning.

Michael Keenan

Good morning Marius.

Marius Benson

Now you are giving very mixed reviews to the legislation that the Government is proposing but you are backing Manus Island and Nauru as offshore processing, there is no doubt about that level of agreement at least?

Michael Keenan

I’m not sure we are giving mixed reviews. This legislation is a step in the right direction but what we are concerned about is firstly why has it taken four years for this Government to come to the obvious realisation that it needs to be done but secondly it is only one leg of the three legs that we need to do if we are going to get serious about people smuggling. Offshore processing on Nauru and Manus is definitely a good first step but it should be done in conjunction with turning the boats back around and a return to Temporary Protection Visas to completely undermine the people smugglers business model.

Marius Benson

You have made the point that this is incomplete in the Opposition’s view, it is also incomplete in the Government’s view because they say what you really need to do is adopt our Malaysian Solution. When you back the legislation now on Manus and Nauru are you also backing the Government’s reintroduction of the Malaysia option?

Michael Keenan

No we are not and we don’t believe that that arrangement is the right one for Australia because it strips away all of the human rights protections that we put in place under the Howard Government for offshore processing. If they are going to Manus and going to Nauru then they will be in Australian run facilities where we can guarantee their treatment. If they are sent to Malaysia we cannot do that and that is the problem that we still have with that arrangement.

Marius Benson

What about the increased numbers of people being brought in as refugees recommended by the expert committee, are you backing that?

Michael Keenan

I think we need to have a look at that. You have to be very careful about increasing the number of humanitarian arrivals to make sure that they have the support service that they require, because they require an enormous level of support, I know this because a lot of them come to my electorate. We already have a very generous program at 13,750, one of the most generous in the world and if it is going to increase then it needs to be done with an increase in support services.

Page 1 of 2 ABC News Radio Interview with Marius Benson > Michael Keenan MP

16/09/2013 http://www.keenan.net.au/DesktopModules/DnnForge%20-%20NewsArticles/Print.as...

Marius Benson

Right but the point that the experts made was that their package, mixing incentives to come the right way and disincentives to come by boat, needs to be taken as a whole. You are saying that you are only accepting part of it, have I got that right?

Michael Keenan

Our policy has been the same for some time; we do run a very generous program in Australia.

Marius Benson

Sure but just narrowly on the legislation before the House now are you allowing the Government to introduce all its elements? It actually doesn’t require legislation to increase the numbers.

Michael Keenan

It is really a matter for the Government. They could make that decision today if they like. It is an administrative decision not for the Parliament. It doesn’t have anything to do with the legislation before the House today.

Marius Benson

What about Malaysia? Can you just clarify that that is not part of the deal that you are backing today? When you vote today presumably you won’t be voting for the Malaysia option?

Michael Keenan

No we won’t for the reasons that I outlined. When people go to Nauru and to Manus we can guarantee the treatment they are receiving. When they go to Malaysia we can’t.

Marius Benson

Ok I will leave it there. Michael Keenan thank you for your time this morning.

Michael Keenan

Nice to talk to you Marius.

Ends……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

© Authorised by Michael Keenan MP, 203 Wanneroo Road, Tuart Hill WA 6060

www.keenan.net.au

Page 2 of 2 ABC News Radio Interview with Marius Benson > Michael Keenan MP

16/09/2013 http://www.keenan.net.au/DesktopModules/DnnForge%20-%20NewsArticles/Print.as...