Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Coalition refuses to dismantle integrity measures in detention regime.



Download PDFDownload PDF

THE HON DR SHARMAN STONE MP Federal Member for Murray Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship

24 June 2009

COALITION REFUSES TO DISMANTLE INTEGRITY MEASURES IN DETENTION REGIME

“The Coalition will not support the Rudd Government’s latest attempt to further weaken the integrity of Australia’s migration programs”, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Dr Sharman Stone said today.

“Abolishing detention debt does not change the current practice and policy at all. Those detainees found to be refugees have long had their debt waived or written off. In fact, 95% of all detainees have this experience. However, abolishing the principle would be seen by people smugglers as one more piece of evidence of this government going soft on border protection.

“The Coalition has always been committed to an orderly and humanely managed immigration and refugee program and we will continue to ensure that Australia remains one of the most generous providers of humanitarian resettlement in the world. However we will do this in a way that does not encourage unauthorised arrivals and the barbaric practice of people smuggling.

“The Rudd Labor Government has unravelled the measures which previously kept our borders secure. This includes abolishing TPV’s, the 45-day rule which says you must apply for a protection visa within 45 days of arrival in Australia and the proposed creation of another catch-all protection visa for those who are not eligible for refugee protection under UNHCR rules.

“There are safeguards in the legislation to ensure asylum seekers who do not have the means to pay are given manageable repayment schedules, or have their detention debts waived or written off.

“If this program is poorly administered, then administrative arrangements wshould be improved. The principle cannot be destroyed.

Contact: Ann Duffield 0409 842 069

M E D I A R E L E A S E