Monday, 25 October 2010
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Can the Prime Minister confirm whether asylum seekers and refugees already in the region, such as, say, the Burmese in Thailand, will be eligible to be transferred to her regional processing centre in East Timor for processing and resettlement?
I thank the member for his question. The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship was just pointing out the lack of continuity with the questions that have gone before. Can I say to the shadow minister, who has responsibility for this matter for the opposition, we are going to work through on the regional protection framework and regional processing centre.
Opposition members interjecting—
I understand that the shadow minister is embarrassed to sell a three-word slogan, is still trying to recover from the humiliation of boat phone during the campaign, is wanting to do everything in this parliament to try—
Order! I suggest that the member for Sturt take his place. I indicated to the Prime Minister that she was to respond to the question. She is two or three words in. She may have digressed, but if you want to blow your point of order now you can blow your point of order. You can be a risk-taker. I attended an opening at a certain denominational school where I indicated that I would try to show the right presence of mind to the member for Sturt. He has had it now, all right?
I say to the shadow minister that, obviously, we will work through all elements of the regional protection framework and the regional processing centre. But it seems to me that what is sought to be achieved here is a matter of common sense. At the moment, people believe that it is worth their while to engage in forward transit. Through creating a regional processing centre—
On the question of the regional framework and the regional processing centre I believe the aim is obvious and clear—that is, to send a message to people who are engaged in irregular migration that there is no incentive to engage in forward transit because they will end up being processed in the same place by the same rules. From their interjections the opposition seem either to not understand this or to be engaged in grand scepticism about it. Can I suggest to them that, if they are so sceptical about this approach, they choose to seek some guidance from a former Liberal prime minister, Malcolm Fraser, who can tell them a bit about irregular people movements, a regional framework and regional processing. I suggest they make that call on the phone.