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What does Minister Vanstone know about immigration?

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Nicola Roxon MP Shadow Minister for Population and Immigration Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader on the Status of Women

What Does Minister Vanstone Know About Immigration?

The new Minister for Immigration continues to fail to answer key questions about people smuggling, national security, children in detention and the integrity of Australia’s immigration system. M


In Parliament today, Senator Vanstone bumbled hopelessly when asked to explain the role of the Immigration department officials in providing people in detention with travel documents and airline tickets to countries that they could not return to.

When asked about the rights of non-Syrian citizens to live in Syria, the Minister clearly could not answer the question, despite having been given evidence last week that Australia regularly returns non-Syrians to Syria.

This is just another in example of the Minister unashamedly neglecting some of the most contentious issues in her portfolio.

As Minister for Immigration, Senator Vanstone:

• could not advise the Senate of the number of children in detention or the number in the Government’s own “model” housing project • could not articulate the approach she would take to children in detention • refused to consider a compassionate outcome for two children who lost

their mother in the Bali bombing, and who are being denied a two week visitor visa in order to see their father in Baxter Detention Centre.

Labor is very disturbed that the Minister has not mastered matters crucial to her portfolio, and calls on the Minister to start her learning curve by releasing children, and investigating passport and travel fraud claims.

People in desperate need deserve a Minister who pays a lot more attention to her job.

The integrity of our immigration system is too important to be left in the hands of someone so light on detail or compassion.

16 October 2003

For more information call: Nicola Roxon or Chris Black on (03) 9687 7355 or 0417 386 535