News Election 2016 NZ emerges as refugee option

NZ emerges as refugee option

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Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has left the door open to using New Zealand as a resettlement option for refugees from Manus Island and Nauru.

Mr Shorten told Four Corners Australia should first hold discussions with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

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Asked about using New Zealand as an option, the Opposition Leader would not rule it out.

“Well it’s a resettlement nation,” Mr Shorten said.

“There’s no doubt that we should look at resettlement options throughout the region.”

Mr Shorten also spoke about the lessons he had learnt from his role in toppling two Labor prime ministers.

Mr Shorten was one of the key Labor MPs involved in the leadership spills that ousted Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.

But he said he was not a factional player anymore.

He said his thinking had evolved and his priorities had changed after he became the leader of the party.

“When you become the leader and you go through 1000 days, you realise that some of the arguments which you used to think are important are just not as important as getting your policies together and being united,” he said.

“Unity is the green fee you pay to get on the golf course of national government.”

Leadership spills ‘happened too quickly’: Shorten

He defended his judgement, saying he had always tried to act in the national interest.

But he said he now recognised that removing a first-term sitting prime minister “wasn’t the right way to go”.

“I think in hindsight it all happened too quickly,” Mr Shorten said.

“It wasn’t properly explained to people. I think it showed a Labor Party which was more interested in its own arguments than the people.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the Coalition would have “resoundingly” lost the election if he had not ousted Tony Abbott as Liberal leader.

Mr Turnbull said he was confident he made the right decision in challenging Mr Abbott for the leadership last September.

“I think if there had not been a change of leadership then we would’ve lost the election very resoundingly,” he said.

Mr Turnbull said he was still the same person as he was as opposition leader in 2009, but had learnt his lesson after the Godwin Grech affair.

– ABC.

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