Timor plan ‘ em­bar­rass­ing’

Townsville Bulletin - - News -

THE Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment has been told to stop em­bar­rass­ing it­self by push­ing its East Timor so­lu­tion for pro­cess­ing asy­lum seek­ers.

P r i m e M i n i s t e r J u l i a Gil­lard’s pro­posal for a refugee pro­cess­ing cen­tre in East Timor has been ef­fec­tively ruled out as an op­tion un­til af­ter an agree­ment on a re­gional frame­work for ad­dress­ing peo­ple-smuggling can be reached.

It is un­der­stood the pro­posal, flagged by Ms Gil­lard be­fore the 2010 fed­eral elec­tion, was not even dis­cussed on Tues­day by del­e­gates on the first day of the Bali Proc e s s s um­mit o n p e o p l e - smuggling and re­lated crime.

The gov­ern­ment needed to ac­cept the plan would amount to noth­ing, Op­po­si­tion i mmig r a t i o n s p o k e s ma n Scott Mor­ri­son said.

‘‘ This gov­ern­ment has been flog­ging this thing like a dead horse in the last nine months, and it has been em­bar­rass­ing to watch,’’ he told the Na­tional Press Club in Can­berra yes­ter­day.

‘‘ To watch the pro­ces­sion of re­gional lead­ers forced to po­litely nod has been ex­cru­ci­at­ing . . . as much for the rest of Aus­tralia watch­ing this farce.’’

Mr Mor­ri­son reaf­firmed the coali­tion’s tough line on im­mi­gra­tion and flagged an ex­tended 457 visa to ad­dress skills short­ages in re­gional ar­eas of Aus­tralia.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.