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Excision decision just means more of the same.

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TONY BURKE MP Member for Watson Shadow Minister for Immigration

29 July 2005


Shadow Immigration Minister, Tony Burke today opposed the Howard Government’s decision to excise a number of islands from Australia’s migration zone saying that the decision is indicative of a Government not willing to implement cultural change.

“This latest excision raises alarm bells about whether the Howard Government has any intention of changing the culture of the Immigration Department,” said Mr Burke.

“There was an argument for the excision of Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Ashmore Reef because they are closer to Indonesia than they are to the Australian mainland and therefore act as a magnet for people smugglers.

“The latest excision is an appalling example of the Government surrendering the full rights of territory as a stunt.

“The Howard Government seems to have abandoned the concept of ‘border protection’ and replaced it with ‘border surrender’.

“If the culture of the department is to change, then the change has to come from the top.

“What we see in this decision is the same Minister behaving the same way as she did prior to the release of the Palmer Report and pursuing the same stunts that were pursued by Philip Ruddock.

“You don’t get cultural change with more of the same.

“After nine long years, the Howard Government is mismanaging immigration. The immigration system is a mess.”

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