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Rudd confirms East Timor is a never never solution

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Scott Morrison, MP 

Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship  Shadow Minister for Productivity and Population    

Rudd confirms East Timor is a never never solution 15/09/10

Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship and Shadow Minister for Productivity and Population, Scott Morrison said Foreign Minister Rudd today confirmed that Julia Gillard’s East Timor processing centre will never see the light of day.

“Julia Gillard’s so-called East Timor solution is and always has been a never never solution,” Mr Morrison said.

“When asked if the East Timor solution would be set up during this parliamentary term, Kevin Rudd refused to give a commitment saying: ‘This is going to take quite a while to work our way through…’

“During the election campaign Julia Gillard also refused to give a commitment that an East Timor processing centre would be in place during this parliamentary term.

“Now that the Government of East Timor has referred the negotiation to the Bali Process, Kevin Rudd will have to convince 50 countries of the merits of Julia Gillard’s dud proposal, rather than just East Timor. As each day passes, Kevin Rudd’s judgement in rejecting the idea as Prime Minister is proving to be vindicated.

“If Kevin Rudd couldn’t stick at securing an agreement on climate change, which he said he believed in, we cannot expect any better results in arguing for an idea he has coldly rejected.

“Senior members of the East Timorese Government have repeatedly said they want nothing to do with Julia Gillard’s idea and have now quarantined discussions on people smuggling to the Bali Process.

“The East Timorese Parliament has already voted against the idea and today it has been reported that officials have played down speculations that a site for a processing centre was identified.

“The case for third country processing has never been more critical. Australia’s immigration detention system is busting at the seams with over 5,000 people currently in detention, a current High Court challenge could see failed asylum seekers who have arrived illegally clogging our court system for years and yet the Government has no viable plan in place.

“The Coalition believes the Government should dispense with the farce and the spin and urgently reconsider their opposition to reopening the Australian taxpayer funded centres on Nauru or on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea,” Mr Morrison said.