//
you're reading...
Australian Current Affairs

Australian opposition plans to relegate asylum seekers to military, keep numbers secret


Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison

Australians may never know how many asylum-seeker boats arrive under a Coalition government, with opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison refusing to release details about boat arrivals without the approval of a three-star general.

The Coalition has previously said it would appoint a three-star military officer to command a joint taskforce, which will include some 12 government agencies.

During a National Press Club debate between Mr Morrison and Immigration Minister Tony Burke on Tuesday, Mr Morrison said any decision to release information about the number of asylum-seeker boats bound for Australia, how many were on board or their interception, would be a matter for Defence. ”That will be an operational decision, as part of Operation Sovereign Borders, for the three-star military officer,” Mr Morrison said.

Advertisement

”I don’t think those decisions should be put in the hands of politicians … I think those decisions should be made by implementation officers and I’m quite happy to trust a three-star military officer of our armed forces.”

Under Labor, details about boat arrivals, including the number of asylum seekers and crew on board, and whether the boat was in distress when intercepted or rescued, are released as a matter of course.

Mr Burke said his natural inclination was to ”have strong views in favour of scrutiny” but said if the Coalition took power on Saturday, it may never be known when the first asylum-seeker boat had arrived under that government.

Mr Morrison signalled the Coalition could pull Australia out of the Refugee Convention if it felt it was in a refugee ”emergency”.

”On the issue of the Refugee Convention, the Menzies government signed it, John Howard stopped the boats without having to walk away from it and we’ve certainly not stated any intention to change that arrangement but in emergency measures we always leave all options on the table,” he said.

Mr Morrison was also challenged on his use of the term ”illegal arrivals” to describe asylum seekers arriving by boat. The Coalition has long described asylum seekers who arrive by boat as ”illegal arrivals”, relying on its use in the Refugee Convention.

But the convention states: ”States shall not impose penalties, on account of their illegal entry or presence, on refugees who, coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened … or are present in their territory without authorisation, provided they present themselves without delay to the authorities and show good cause for their illegal entry or presence.”

Mr Burke suggested the Coalition used the term due to a ”willingness to politicise and, dare I say it, demonise” asylum seekers.

”The motivation behind the language I think matters, too.”

But Mr Morrison said, ”The problem’s not the debate, the problem’s the policy failure.

”This issue goes away when the problem’s been fixed, and the only way this will be a non-issue is when the boats stop. That’s how we end this.”

Source: Sydney Morning Herald – Number of arrivals may be a secret
 

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

If you liked what you just read, click "Subscribe" to become a follower of the Craig Hill site. You will receive an email each time a new post is published.

Join 15,358 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

China’s new aircraft carrier Fujian: Hit or miss 

China’s new aircraft carrier Fujian: Hit or miss 

While the United States was wrapping up its Valiant Shield 2022 exercise on 17 June, China launched its third aircraft carrier with all the fanfare. The launch was postponed twice due to logistical and technical issues. The aircraft carrier has been named Fujian with the hull number 18. It has been under construction at the world’s largest […]

In Beijing’s BRICS summit, Putin is back on the world stage

In Beijing’s BRICS summit, Putin is back on the world stage

When Russian President Vladimir Putin dials into the virtual BRICS summit hosted by Beijing on Thursday, it will be his first time attending a forum with the heads of major economies since launching an invasion of Ukraine earlier this year. For Putin, this could offer a welcome picture: his face beamed onscreen alongside other leaders […]

U.S. not seeking to create “Asian NATO,” defense secretary says

U.S. not seeking to create “Asian NATO,” defense secretary says

The U.S. Defense Secretary emphasized partnership as the main priority for the American security strategy in the Indo-Pacific during a keynote speech on Saturday. However, Lloyd Austin stressed that the U.S. does not seek to create “an Asian NATO.” Austin spoke for half an hour at the First Plenary Session of the Shangri-La Dialogue 2022 […]

Why Chinese warplanes are ‘playing chicken’ with US allies

Why Chinese warplanes are ‘playing chicken’ with US allies

Chinese warplanes are targeting US allies in a high-stakes “game of chicken” over the Asia-Pacific that risks spiraling out of control — raising the risk of an incident that could spark war. That is the view of analysts who warn increasingly aggressive maneuvers by Chinese fighter jets — accused of endangering both Canadian and Australian […]

Has China lost Europe?

Has China lost Europe?

In April and May, as Russia’s war in Ukraine entered its third month, China sent a special envoy to meet with officials in eight central and eastern European countries. The timing was not coincidental: in the two months since Russia had launched its invasion, China’s standing in Europe had sunk to new lows. European governments […]

Xi’s re-election: Opportunity for the world, curse for China

Xi’s re-election: Opportunity for the world, curse for China

China is gearing up for the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party to be held later this year. According to the consensus view, President Xi Jinping’s historic bid for a third term as the party’s General Secretary is assured. The Chinese President and General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Xi Jinping, doesn’t have much […]

China: A political view

China: A political view

I read Dr Mohamad Zreik[2] interesting and comprehensive article on the growth of China’s economy. It has come a long way since the days of Mao Tse Tung and the days of his communist experiment, the Long March, when millions died. The years that followed Mao set the path from which the economy took off […]

Math books outrage China with ‘ugly, sexually suggestive, pro-American’ images

Math books outrage China with ‘ugly, sexually suggestive, pro-American’ images

China has ordered a nationwide review of school textbooks after illustrations deemed ugly, sexually suggestive and secretly pro-American caused public uproar. The news has alarmed some experts and parents who fear the campaign is turning into a political witch hunt and represents an unnecessary tightening of the country’s already stringent censorship of cultural publications. The […]

Why Biden didn’t mean what he said about Taiwan

Why Biden didn’t mean what he said about Taiwan

The White House has been left scrambling a little after President Joe Biden suggested on May 23, 2022, that the US would intervene militarily should China attempt an invasion of Taiwan. The comment, which Biden made during a trip to Japan, was taken by some observers as a deviation from the official US line on […]

United States outmanoeuvres Russia once again? 

United States outmanoeuvres Russia once again? 

In a recent briefing, the US Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Avril Haines warned, “I would characterize it as the Russians aren’t winning, and the Ukrainians aren’t winning, and we’re at a bit of a stalemate here.” So, where is the Russia-Ukraine war heading? What is Russian President Putin planning next? Is Europe ready for […]

%d bloggers like this: