The Senate inquiry into the unrest at the Manus Island detention centre continued to hear witness testimony detailing the difficulties faced by asylum seekers in the compound. The inquiry was told that workers were given employment at the centre without an interview or training. Evidence given to the committee pointed to the Immigration Department retaining strategic control of the centre, despite its statements that the centre remains under the jurisdiction of Papua New Guinea.
Whistleblower Steve Kilburn articulated evidence that contradicted the official account of the events given by his former employer, G4S. Mr Kilburn warned the committee that he believed further violence would ensue if refugees were to be resettled on Manus Island.
The inquiry fell short of reviewing Immigration Minister Scott Morrison’s initial inaccurate comments surrounding the circumstances of the unrest – contrary to Mr Morrison’s previous declaration – which prompted the accusation that the Minister misled parliament. Mr Morrison’s claim that the processing of asylum seekers had begun weeks before the Manus Island unrest was also challenged by the release of a secret recording indicating processing had been frozen.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten labelled the former Labor government’s decision to dismantle the ‘Pacific Solution’ a mistake, stating that regional settlement of asylum seekers is the ‘best way to handle people who try to come to Australia.’
A report by KPMG found that the Department of Immigration is to blame for the data breach that exposed the personal details of almost 10,000 detainees.
The Age reported that two newborn babies and their families were shipped to Christmas Island detention centre, a location that is deemed inappropriate for young children by medical practitioners.
Large posters of sketches drawn by asylum seekers in detention or on bridging visas have appeared on buildings in Adelaide’s CBD.