Immigration minister Peter Dutton sat down with Australian Middle East Media last week to discuss Australia’s border security, refugee intake and the future of asylum seekers in detention.
Asylum seekers and Refugees
Mr Dutton has hosed down concerns about the mistreatment of asylum seekers and dismissed Green’s Senator Sarah Hanson Young’s claims that she was being spied on while visiting asylum seekers at Nauru.
‘Senator Hanson Young made some outrageous claims that she’s been spied on by the government which were fanciful and factually incorrect.
‘Senator Henson Young loves a headline and loves attention, craves attention and seeks it at any moment and I think that’s what been demonstrated here,’ said Mr Dutton.
Mr Dutton also added that Young’s allegations about asylum seekers being water-boarded were also inaccurate.
‘Her star witness and her only witness who was paraded before the Green’s senate enquiry last week recanted and said that he had no evidence of this claim,’ Mr Dutton said.
Mr Dutton also confirmed that he has not received any complaints about torture in Nauru and praised Australia’s refugee program.
‘Australia provides more support than any other country in the world, per capita and GDP. We also had 13, 750 places this year will have 18, 750 by 2018.
‘We should be proud of those numbers,’ said Mr Dutton.
Mr Dutton also defended the 457 visa program, and accused union bosses of involving themselves in a racist attack.
‘Our trade unions have sponsored 45 457 visa holders over the past five years with several unions still acting as a sponsor today,’ Mr Dutton said.
Supporting the Government’s role in fighting Islamic State
Mr Dutton also welcomed the Abbott Government’s plan to expand air strikes against Islamic State from Iraq into Syria in the coming weeks and said it would not pose a greater risk to Australian security.
‘We are already under threat from terrorism because we are a freedom loving country.
‘We have a respect for women, we allow young girls to be educated and to be free in our society and I think that offends the terrorists within the ISIL movement and the freedoms we enjoy in our country
‘We stand with the ethnic communities of Australia that will not tolerate this violence in our community,’ said Mr Dutton.
Border Security: The Boats
The Immigration Minister praised the Government’s border security policy.
‘We’ve been able to stop the boats, and most importantly we’ve been able to stop the drowning at sea.
‘With no reported drowning at see compared to 1200 under Labor,’ Mr Dutton said.