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Coalition confused on refugee laws



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SHAYNE NEUMANN MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND BORDER PROTECTION FEDERAL MEMBER FOR BLAIR

COALITION CONFUSED ON REFUGEE LAWS

The Turnbull Government’s proposed new asylum seeker legislation is quickly turning into another trademark Turnbull stuff up with confusion amongst senior Coalition front benchers about the details of how this will work, what this legislation does and who will be affected.

When asked whether refugees living in the Australian community on bridging visas will be affected by a lifetime ban from ever visiting Australia, Peter Dutton’s office said yes, Julie Bishop said no and Sussan Ley said no, then I don’t know.

When asked directly on Q&A if there are people in Australia currently on bridging visas who will be affected by this legislation Sussan Ley said:

Sussan Ley: No, because the people who are affected by this are those who are in Manus and Nauru now…

Tony Jones: I’m forced to interrupt you. I’m sorry about that, but we put questions to the Minister Peter Dutton today, to his office, on whether people in Australia on bridging visas would be affected by the proposed ban. Their answer came back to us late this afternoon, it’s yes, the answer is yes. They couldn’t tell us how many, but they said it was a relatively small number. It could be in the hundreds.

Sussan Ley: And the reason for that is they would have been processed on Manus and Nauru…

Labor has asked the Turnbull Government for a copy of the legislation and to be briefed by department representatives but we’ve been told to wait until next week.

If the Turnbull Government was serious about bipartisanship on this issue, they would release the legislation and meet with Labor today.

Labor will consider the detail of the legislation when the Turnbull Government finally releases it next week and take this through our usual processes.

No amount of internal Coalition confusion can distract from the Turnbull Government’s total failure to secure durable and credible third country resettlement arrangements to get refugees off Manus Island and Nauru.

Rather than playing political games and do One Nations bidding, the Turnbull Government should be focusing on resettlement options for these people.

TUESDAY, 1 NOVEMBER 2016

MEDIA CONTACT: MEL HOCKEY 0418 511 529