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Immigration minister urged to come out of hiding.



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TONY BURKE MP Member for Watson Shadow Minister for Immigration

10 July 2005

IMMIGRATION MINISTER URGED TO COME OUT OF HIDING

Shadow Minister for Immigration, Tony Burke has demanded that Immigration Minister, Senator Amanda Vanstone emerge from hiding and face the Australian public over the maladministration of her department.

Mr Burke today criticised Senator Vanstone’s silence in the media saying now was not the time for someone who is responsible for a department in crisis to go to ground.

“It is reasonable for the Minister to refuse to comment on the draft findings of Palmer. But there is no justification for her refusing to comment on the Audit Report on the Management of the Detention Centre Contracts,” said Mr Burke.

“Palmer only has a second rate set of powers and can only scratch the surface. We need all the powers of a royal commission to get to the bottom of the mess within the department she administers.

“The Minister is required to take responsibility for her department. At the moment she is using an inquiry with second-rate powers as an excuse to hide from the Australian public while she works out who to blame. That is simply not good enough.

“First we lost an Australian resident, then we lost an Australian citizen, now it seems we have lost the Minister for Immigration. When will the Government speak up and take responsibility?”

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