Morrison stands by refugee comments

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison has explained the kind of behavioural protocol he thinks asylum seekers should live by when they are released into the community

Mr Morrison was last week criticised for his comments after a Sri Lankan asylum seeker, released into the community on a bridging visa, was charged with the indecent assault of a female university student in Sydney

He said communities must be notified when asylum seekers are released from detention and that behavioural protocols be applied

Mr Morrison on Thursday said one «obvious» behavioural protocol would be about setting a limit on the number of people allowed in a room where asylum seekers are housed

«If there were two people who are supposed to be in a room, then there should be two people in that room,» he told Sky News

Setting clear rules around behaviour would help asylum seekers understand how they’re supposed to use the services and how to interact with the people providing those services, Mr Morrison said

«When people go and work on resources projects, they’re subject to behaviour protocols to be on site,» he said

«You go and play a game of golf, you’re subject to behavioural protocols

«You go and walk into a club or a pub, you’re subject to behavioural protocols.»

Meanwhile, the first man to be transferred to Australia’s offshore processing centre on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island has abandoned his asylum claim and has returned to Iraq

This takes the total number of voluntary returns of would-be refugees in 2013 so far to 44

Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor said it showed the government’s no-advantage policy was working

«The Gillard government is determined to deter people from risking their lives on perilous journeys to Australia on unseaworthy vessels by ensuring there is no advantage over people who seek to come to Australia through regular channels,» he said in a statement

Mr Morrison later said he came up with the idea of behaviour protocols himself

«This is my proposal,» he told ABC television

But he wouldn’t be drawn on whether he ran the idea past the shadow cabinet or Opposition Leader Tony Abbott

«I’m not going to go into our internal processes,» Mr Morrison said
«I’m telling you I had the full authority to do it and I did and I would do it again.»



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