La­bor, Phelps mi­gra­tion pol­icy to ‘restart boats’

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS -

HOME Af­fairs Min­is­ter Peter Dut­ton has ac­cused La­bor of sup­port­ing a pol­icy that will end off­shore de­ten­tion of asy­lum seek­ers and spark a re­turn of il­le­gal boat ar­rivals.

Mr Dut­ton has hit out at the Op­po­si­tion’s sup­port of a Bill to ur­gently trans­fer sick asy­lum seek­ers on Manus Is­land and Nauru to Aus­tralia, say­ing bor­der pro­tec­tion would “col­lapse” un­der La­bor and “the boats will restart”.

“What La­bor is propos­ing here is a back door­way to end re­gional pro­cess­ing,” he said in Bris­bane yes­ter­day. “That is one of the three limbs that has stopped the boats.”

The com­ments come af­ter La­bor of­fered con­di­tional sup­port for cross­bencher Ker­ryn Phelps’s Bill last week, be­fore the leg­is­la­tion was de­layed by the Gov­ern­ment in a bid to duck a his­toric loss in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

The Bill, be­ing driven by Dr Phelps, the Mem­ber for Went­worth, would al­low crit­i­cally ill refugees to be flown to Aus­tralia for med­i­cal treat­ment on the ad­vice of two doc­tors.

La­bor fi­nance spokesman Jim Chalmers hit back at Mr Dut­ton, say­ing the Lib­er­als had made up “des­per­ate lies”.

“The fact is, La­bor will never let the peo­ple smug­glers back into busi­ness,” he said.

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