Scott Morrison’s Media Blackout Sets a Dangerous Precedent
Federal Immigration Minister and Talking Snake Advocate Scott Morrison has closed the doors to the Australian media and as such, the Australian public, with regards to his key area of responsibility – asylum seekers.
The Government has been roundly condemned by Amnesty International and the UNCHR over its treatment of refugees, so much so that the Abbott Government is considering abandoning its international obligations under existing conventions to avoid any further condemnation.
The Abbott Government initially provided assurances that Australians would receive timely and accurate briefings on the number and frequency of asylum seeker arrivals in the form of a weekly briefing from the Immigration Minister each Friday.
However, the briefings quickly deteriorated into a farcical charade with the Minister refusing to respond to questions from the media under the ruse of “operational reasons.”
The briefings became a contemptuous display of arrogance and deceit – effectively refusing to provide the Australian public with fairly rudimentary information. So much for that “open and transparent Government” we were promised before the election.
It now appears that the Immigration Minister has abandoned the process altogether, refusing to confirm or deny whether any briefings will take place in 2014.
Thanks to the Abbott Government, Australians are now kept completely in the dark with regards to asylum seeker arrivals and how they are being treated on offshore detention centres.
With billions of our taxpayer dollars being allocated towards “Operation Sovereign Borders” and offshore processing, aren’t we, as taxpayers entitled to know whether these tactics are successful or otherwise?
The fact that we now have to find out from The Jakarta Post rather than from our own news media illustrates how draconian the Abbott Government has become in its relatively short life span, and how determined it is to avoid scrutiny or criticism.
Only yesterday, The Jakarta Post reported that a boat carrying 45 ”illegal immigrants from Africa and the Middle East” was about to enter Australian waters but was ”immediately forced back into Indonesian waters.”
This morning Morrison refused to comment on the report instead resorting to his blanket denial under the guise of “operational reasons.”
However, Greens immigration spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young said Mr Morrison needed to clarify today what had happened and the circumstances in which the alleged incident occurred.
”We should not be finding out from the Indonesian media before we find out from our own government,” Senator Hanson-Young said.
The asylum seekers ”could have drowned”, she said, adding that the towback practice was dangerous and legally questionable.