News National Turnbull, Dutton ‘haven’t seen’ paper

Turnbull, Dutton ‘haven’t seen’ paper

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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says neither he nor his Immigration Minister have seen a leaked Government document which outlines plans for sweeping changes to Australia’s humanitarian resettlement program.

It outlines a number of proposed changes, including:

• An enforceable integration framework to assess aspiring migrants’ suitability for life in Australia
• A revamped citizenship test and citizenship pledge
• Enhanced access, use and protection of sensitive information to strengthen intelligence-led, risk-based decision-making, from pre-visa stage through to post-citizenship conferral

Mr Dutton said that he had not seen the document, but would not apologise for the debate around screening refugees.

“We are going to be tough in terms of the screening processes because we want to afford refuge to those people who are refugees,” he said.

“This is a very serious time for our country, for Western democracies … people will pretend to be refugees when they’re not.”

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Mr Turnbull this morning confirmed that he and Mr Dutton had not viewed the document.

He said he could not comment on a document he had not seen.

“As far as future policies are concerned, I can assure you that in terms of people’s rights that there is only one class of citizenship in Australia,” he told Adelaide radio station 5AA.

“All citizens have got the same rights but they also have the same obligations and one of those obligations is obviously to obey the law and so that applies whether you were born here or whether you took out your citizenship last week.”

If this is where the government wants to take us, we are returning to a very dark past indeed.

The document also raised specific concerns about the 12,000 additional Syrian refugees the Federal Government announced it would take in September last year.

The document says “it is expected some refugees from this conflict will bring issues, beliefs or associations that lead them to advocate or engage in politically motivated or communal violence”.

But Mr Turnbull said he was “very confident” of the vetting processes in place.

“The security vetting is being done very carefully,” he said.

“ASIO, that’s their job and they are doing that very carefully indeed.”

We are returning to a very dark past indeed: Opposition

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten described the leak as a sign of “internal war” within the Federal Government.

“I think this a most disturbing development that national security documents are being leaked by people within the Turnbull Government to embarrass the Turnbull Government,” Mr Shorten told reporters in Melbourne.

“National security should be above day-to-day politics.”

Shadow Immigration Minister Richard Marles described the document and its proposals an “enormously regressive step”.

Mr Marles told the ABC the plan harked back to immigration policies of the 1950s.

“This verges dangerously down the path of putting in place a discriminatory immigration policy,” he said.

“If this is where the Government wants to take us, we are returning to a very dark past indeed.”

Mr Marles also dismissed the claim that his Government counterpart had not seen the “draft” document, saying it was “clearly a document of the Government”.

“What it portrays is a Government which is deeply divided,” he said.

“This is document intended for the National Security Committee and it has found its way into the public domain.”


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