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Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Page: 1024

Mr BRIGGS (9:37 AM) —I rise today to again place on the record a matter of extreme concern for my community. The ambush announcement by the Prime Minister on Monday, that my community will have a detention centre built at Inverbrackie, has caused enormous concern leading to an emergency community meeting, to be held tomorrow evening. For those who consider themselves to be vastly morally superior to the rest of us in this place and outside, I make this point very clear to begin with: my issue is not with the people; my issue is with this government and the decisions that this government has made, because it has failed to manage Australia’s border security properly. The decision to turn the defence housing site at Inverbrackie, near Woodside, into a low-security detention centre has been made necessary because this government has lost control completely of Australia’s borders. It is an emergency decision not well thought through or planned at all.

The most appalling aspect of this decision is the total lack of consultation by this government with my community or anyone associated with governance in South Australia. In fact, yesterday Premier Mike Rann expressed his frustration on Adelaide radio over the fact that he had only been called an hour before the decision was announced. He did not even get the opportunity to ask questions prior to the announcement of this decision.

What is very clear from the community feedback and the concerned citizens making contact with me and my office is that there is real concern about the plan’s effect on local schools, health services, law and order and community services, and that concern will need to be addressed. The immediate impact on property values in the area is of large concern to many of the constituents who have contacted me. These are hardworking members of my community and, like the rest of us, they found out through a press conference. But what makes this worse is that the Prime Minister herself was in the Adelaide Hills on Sunday for a photo-opportunity with our CFS, 17 kilometres from Inverbrackie and Woodside, and did not have the courage to get in her car and go there and front the community members to be honest with them and tell them what she intended to do with this site. It is an absolute disgrace and it underlines what this government is: it is rotten to the core.

This Prime Minister has not only now abandoned South Australia on the Murray-Darling Basin plan but also abandoned the South Australian community by failing to consult on this decision. The anger in my community is white-hot, and it should be. South Australians and the Adelaide Hills deserve better than this. They deserve better than this government. This government has completely lost control of Australia’s borders. (Time expired)