That’s the breaking news this morning as NewsRadio told me was going to be widely reported in Fairfax and Newscorp papers, ahead of an announcement from Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison. Here’s Bianca Hall from The Age:
The Coalition will ramp up its hardline stance on refugees on Friday, announcing that almost 32,000 asylum seekers who have already arrived in Australia by boat will never get permanent settlement as well as stripping them of the right to appeal to the courts.
The Coalition would also introduce indefinite work-for-the-dole obligations for those found to be refugees.
A Coalition government would scrap the right of asylum seekers to appeal to the courts, which in the March quarter brought the number of asylum seekers who were granted refugee status from 65.3 per cent to more than 90 per cent.
Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said the Coalition would return to a ”non-statutory” process, in which a single caseworker would decide the fate of asylum seekers.
Mark Kenny warns that:
When this increasingly adolescent election is over, the land of the fair go will have cemented its new reputation internationally as the land of the “go away”.
At this time of the morning I’m speechless, but the question arises as to how Rudd will respond to this challenge. So far I’ve thought that Rudd’s internationalism and his stated willingness to raise the humanitarian intake to 27,000 meant that his initiative to re-examine the UN refugee convention indicated a basic commitment for Australia to play it’s part and recognise the underlying need of those experiencing fear of persecution. Abbott by saying the boats must be stopped and reducing the humanitarian intake to 13,000 is saying they can all sod off unless we happen to want a few of them.
Abbott is confirming his stance, we await Rudd’s response, and that of the voters in marginal seats.