TURNBULL GOVERNMENT DIVIDED ON REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton have contradicted each other on the arrangements regarding the refugee swap with the United States.
In yet another sign of dysfunction at the heart of the Turnbull Government, when asked if there was a link between the agreement to resettle refugees from Manus Island and Nauru in the US and Australia’s agreement to resettle Costa Rican refugees in Australia the Ministers couldn't get their lines straight.
“Well we wouldn’t take anyone until we had assurances that people were going to go off Nauru and Manus.”
PETER DUTTON, BOLT REPORT, 21 FEBRUARY 2017
"That's not the way I would characterise it."
JULIE BISHOP, PRESS CONFERENCE, 22 FEBRUARY 2017
The Turnbull Government has consistently denied a link between these two agreements.
“There is not, and there will be, no people swap. There will be no people swap.”
SCOTT RYAN, ABC 774, 21 SEPTEMBER 2016
“No, well again, just to reinforce the Costa Rica arrangement had nothing to do with this deal and it’s not a people swap...
There are some countries where you do need to enter into a transactional arrangement where we need to swap this for that or we want this for that. That’s not the nature of the relationship with the US.”
PETER DUTTON, TRIPLE J HACK, 14 NOVEMBER 2016
Labor strongly supports the resettlement of refugees from Manus and Nauru in the US.
The Immigration Minister needs to immediately clarify his comments and ensure the US refugee resettlement deal goes ahead.
Refugees on Manus Island and Nauru have been left to languish for too long in offshore detention because the Turnbull Government has failed to secure third country resettlement options.