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Wednesday, 15 October 2003
Page: 21491

Mr CREAN (3:22 PM) —My question is to the Prime Minister and it again concerns the two children aged four and eight whom the Prime Minister met in Bali whose mother was killed in the Bali bombings and whose father is in Australia's Baxter detention centre, and his answer at the beginning of question time that he would check with his minister. Is the Prime Minister aware that his minister for immigration has been asked in the other place about these children and she has indicated that (1) her department continues to pursue the reunion of these children with their father but only in Iran, (2) the children's three applications for visitor visas have been refused, (3) a review application has been lodged again and (4) she proposes to take no further action at this time?

Opposition members—Shame!

The SPEAKER —Order! The Leader of the Opposition has the call.

Mr CREAN —Prime Minister, will you now intervene as a special act of compassion and ensure these innocent victims of the Bali bombings can see their father at the Baxter detention centre?

Mr HOWARD (Prime Minister) —I am indebted to the Leader of the Opposition for what he has told the parliament. I will check the circumstances. If it remains the case, I will talk to the minister—I am not going to say any more at this point. I said I would do that at the beginning of question time. I have not had an opportunity—obviously, because I have been attending to my duties here—to speak to the minister and, when I do and if I have anything further to say, I will.

The SPEAKER —I would remind the member for Gellibrand of her status in the House and that any concession given now is a concession she cannot claim to have deserved.