Abbott Government’s “Culture of Secrecy”
Labor’s immigration spokesman Tony Burke has attacked the Federal Government’s changes to announcements about asylum seeker boat arrivals, warning of a “culture of secrecy”.
The previous government issued media alerts every time a boat arrived, but no new alerts have been issued since the new Abbott Government was sworn in.
The Gutter Trash asked both Customs and the Immigration Department whether any boats have arrived in recent days, but the questions were referred back to the Minister’s office.
A spokesman for the Immigration Minister Scott Morrison would not say if any boats had arrived, and said further details about the Government’s Operation Sovereign Borders policy would be provided soon.
“Updates will be provided on Operation Sovereign Borders. We will be making further comments on these matters next week,” he said in a statement.
In a statement on Saturday, Mr Morrison said the Government will manage the information in a way that supports the success of Operation Sovereign Borders, and that the claim by Labor that information is not being provided proves they are ‘hyper-sensitive”.
Labor’s spokesman, former immigration minister Tony Burke, says the disclosure of information should be automatic.
“I have had journalists from all publications ringing me today saying, ‘How do we find out?'” he told The Gutter Trash.
“They’ve been ringing the department and asking if boats have come and they’ve told them to go to Scott Morrison’s office but Scott Morrison’s office aren’t answering questions.
“The policy, I thought, was that they would stop the boats not hide the information. My concern goes to whether or not they’re wanting to re-create a culture of secrecy.
“It should simply be a matter of course that whether the news is good for the government or bad for the government, the Australian people are told.”
IT’S A DISGRACE!
Acting Opposition Leader, and former immigration minister, Chris Bowen says the government is being deceitful.
“This is a disgrace. Stopping the boats is not the same as stopping the press releases,” he said.
“Stopping the boats does not mean not telling the Australian people when a boat has arrived. It’s simple, a boat arrives, you tell the Australian people.”
“Anything short of that is deceit and not being upfront about it.”
“WORK WITH US, NOT AGAINST US” PLEADS SHORTEN
Bill Shorten says the Coalition should work with the Opposition on asylum seekers, and not against them.
“The fact that the Abbott government is proposing to hide information from the Australian people, speaks volumes for their trust in the Australian people,” he said.
“If you want to be able to defeat criminal syndicates, work with the Opposition, don’t demonise the people coming here, let’s make the high seas safe for all.”
SHRILL AND HYSTERICAL!!
Parliamentary secretary Steve Ciobo told Gutter Trash that Labor’s suggestions are “shrill” and “hysterical” and says the new government and the system will be transparent.
“This isn’t a culture of secrecy it’s been about 48 to 72 hours since the Government was sworn in, we’ve got a three-star general that’s going to be there operating the framework, now whether you get the particular information from point A or point B does it really matter?” he said.
“What matters is the information is there that its transparent and that will become apparent in, um…. due course.”