Why did Labor put criminals first?
Des Houghton, The Courier-Mail February 17, 2018
You find some of the worse kinds of human vermin in Australia’s onshore detention centres. There are evildoers who can pick up a phone and order a murder like you might order a pizza. There are organised crime villains. There are child-sex predators. There are motorcycle gang outlaws who trade in drugs.
Peter Dutton, the Minister for Home Affairs, has done a sterling job in purging Australia of many of these imported criminal, who should never have been allowed to set foot in Australia in the first place.
Dutton is a former copper and the Member for Dickson and he has led the Turnbull Government’s zero-tolerance policy on “fraudulent, disruptive or criminal behaviour by non-citizens”.
You would imagine Dutton would enjoy bipartisan support in rooting out criminals.
However, the Labor Party, the Greens and others have again attempted to stymie Dutton’s anti-crime crusade. And they may very well succeed.
It’s a shameful betrayal that says much about Labor’s fake pledges on immigration border security.
The story has been unfolding in federal Parliament where it was revealed that detainees used mobile phones to run criminal enterprises from inside detention centres.
Razor blades have been smuggled inside phones. Why? To buy time. I’m told crooks wait until the day of their deportation and slash themselves so they will be taken to hospital and miss their flights.
The detainees are foreign nationals who have flouted our laws and put Australians at risk.
Many have overstayed their visas or come to the attention of Dutton’s new department because of their appearance in state criminal courts.
They are not all hard-bitten desperados, but the majority seems to be.
I was surprised to see new figures showing 70 per cent of all detainees were given a “high risk” classification by the Federal Government.
There was chilling evidence at a Senate Estimates hearing in Parliament last May.
“One very concerning incident that we recently unearthed was the organisation of a contract killing by one detainee on another detainee in our system through the use of mobile phones,” an Australia Border Force commander said.
There are multiple instances of detainees using mobile phones to co-ordinate drug deals and communicate with the snivelling left protesters outside.
How dreadfully naive are the human rights campaigners who seek to have these thugs freed.
The phones had also been used to co-ordinate internal disturbances and make escape plans, Dutton told Parliament.
The phones were also used for currency trading and making threats.
Dutton points out that detainees classified as illegal maritime arrivals are not permitted mobile phones. Other detainees are.
“Mobile phones are now being used as a type of currency in the facilities,” he said.
Just before Christmas, Dutton tried to tweak the Migration Act giving him power to ban drugs, weapons and child exploitation material, as well as anything he as minister determines would pose a health, safety or security risk – including mobile phones.
He was quick to point out that detainees would be given a $50 phone card to ring their lawyers and families from landlines. And email was available.
The new laws also proposed search and seizure powers, and the right of security teams to use sniffer dogs where drugs are suspected.
It all seems sensible to me.
The proposed changes were back in House last week, but they met opposition from the Labor Party, who got into bed with the Greens to oppose them.
So too, did Nick Xenophon Team MP Rebekha Sharkie, who said that it was ministerial overreach, and independent MP Cathy McGowan has labelled the proposed laws as “cruel”.
The Member for Blair and Labor immigration spokesman, Shayne Neumann, said that the Bill was too broad and would have unintended consequences.
Dutton won the day, but the proposed laws are now likely to be defeated in the Senate when the Green-Labor alliance puts the interests of criminals first.
It’s a shameful episode shows once again that Labor speaks with a forked tongue on immigration and border protection.
Unpopular Labor leader Bill Shorten tries to give the impression that he favours strict border protection.
Last month in Cairns, he said: “Labor’s very clear – we do support stopping the people smugglers. We don’t support bringing people who come by boat with people smugglers to Australia.’’
At a recent Press Club briefing in Canberra, he said: “We will do everything we can do discourage people smugglers.”
His actions suggest otherwise. Labor supported a Greens bid in the Senate last December to allow detainees on Manus Island and Nauru to settle in New Zealand.
That would have provided “backdoor” access to Australia and Bill Shorten knows it.
It would have invited the people smugglers to resume their lucrative trade.
Labor and the Greens destroyed Australia’s border security between 2007 and 2013, allowing 50,000 illegals to arrive by boat.
Shorten has some explaining to do.
1/ Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.
2/ Opposition Leader Bill Shorten may very well succeed in hobbling Dutton.