Former Royal Australian Navy Officer has described the Federal Government’s stop the boats policy as “morally corrupt and totally indefensible”, adding that last weeks reports of alleged mistreatment of asylum seekers is causing growing confusion and anger in Navy ranks. The ABC reports around that incident have elicited a strong response from Prime Minister Abbot, who suggested the national broadcaster was being unpatriotic in its reports of asylum seekers’ allegations against officials. The ABC have responded in an email to staff reinforcing the their commitment to reporting just the facts.
A spokesman for the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection claims that plans to deny working rights to “illegal maritime arrivals” will provide a disincentive for people smugglers to “put people on boats for the dangerous journey to Australia”. The Minister appeared on Friday before a Senate committee examining the Government's reliance on public interest immunity to deny the upper house access to documents relating to Operation Sovereign Borders. Under intense questioning from Senators Ludwig, Hansen-Young and Carr, Minister Morrison refused to release any of the requested documents on the basis that they would harm the national interest.
Nauru has raised the cost of business visas from $400 to $6000 to raise money through hosting Australia’s refugee processing centre. Meanwhile, three security guards working on Manus Island have lost their jobs following an incident on Facebook where they ridiculed asylum seekers for swallowing nail clippers.
In international news, Somali residents of the Dadaab Refugee Camp have begun to be repatriated.