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Monday, 12 November 2018
Page: 7801

Senator McKIM (Tasmania) (20:04): As I was saying, we've got a situation in offshore detention on Manus Island and Nauru that is having absolutely the most horrendous consequences for innocent human beings and, in fact, has created a humanitarian calamity. Part of my job as the Australian Greens' immigration spokesperson is to bear witness to what Australia is doing on Manus Island and Nauru. It's well and truly on the record that I've travelled to Manus Island many times and have seen what is happening over there. In fact, I was there at the time the Australian government ordered the withdrawal of drinking water, electricity, food and medication to over 600 men in the Lombrum detention centre.

Recently, I applied for a visa to visit Nauru. That, as the record shows, was rejected by the Nauruan government. When it was rejected, I had an email from the Nauruan consulate in Brisbane forwarded to me that said: 'The senator's request to visit Nauru does not have the support of the Australian DFAT office. Therefore, Nauru government is unable to support the senator's visa request at this time.' We need an explanation from the Australian government as to exactly what role the Australian government played in having my visa denied by the Nauruan government. It is there in black and white: the Nauruan government said that they are unable to support my request for a visa because it does not have the support of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. That's in black and white. Remember, these are Australia's detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru. They are funded by Australian government money—Australian taxpayers' money. The contracts are signed by the Department of Home Affairs. It's the Australian government that is responsible for everything that happens on Manus Island and Nauru—the rapes, the sexual assaults of children, the armed assaults from the Papua New Guinea navy, the humanitarian calamity that is offshore detention, and children in a catatonic state withdrawing from life.

The PRESIDENT: Senator McKim, time has expired.

Senator McKIM: I seek leave to continue my remarks later.

Leave granted; debate adjourned.