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Transcript of doorstop interview: Parliament House, Canberra: 14 August 2006: Migration Amendment Designated Unauthorised Arrivals Bill.\n



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TRANSCRIPT

TONY BURKE MP

Member for Watson Shadow Minister for Immigration

TRANSCRIPT OF DOORSTOPINTERVIEW, PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA MONDAY 14 AUGUST 2006, 8.00PM

Subject: Migration Amendment Designated Unauthorised Arrivals Bill

E&OE-PROOF ONLY

Journalist: (Inaudible. Question pertaining to asylum seekers found on Ashmore Reef)

Tony Burke: The people, who arrived, arrived in the part where Labor agrees with the excision of Ashmore Reef. We have always supported the excision of Ashmore Reef, Cocos Keeling and of Christmas Island. We don’t support people smuggling operations.

Journalist: The Indonesians have expressed regret about what has happened today with the Bill. Do you think this could cause us problems now?

Tony Burke: If it does cause us problems, they are problems entirely of John Howard’s own making- entirely. Indonesia was given false expectations on two key occasions.

First of all in 2001, the Prime Minister tried to persuade them and the whole of Australia that it wasn’t independent officials who made refugee decisions, it was the Government that decided who’d come into the country and who didn’t. Indonesia then understandably blamed the Government for independent decisions about Papuan asylum seekers.

John Howard then gave the second false expectation that the Australian Parliament would be willing to change domestic law in order to make Indonesia happier. That was never going to occur and so any discontent now from Indonesia lies squarely at the feet of John

Howard.

END

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