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Government must give full account of boat turn back and payments


The Australian Greens have demanded answers today over reports from an Indonesian Police Chief that Australian officials paid thousands of dollars to the crew of an asylum seeking boat to turn around.

"The Government must give a full account of what has occurred here. No excuses for secrecy and cover-up will wash this time," Greens spokesperson for immigration Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

"If these claims prove to be correct then the Australian government is directly financing crews on asylum seeker boats not to come to Australia.  If true, this would be simply unprecedented and totally unacceptable. Minister Dutton must come clean on whether this incident occurred and who authorised it.

"Paying people to stay away from Australia smacks of hypocrisy and throws into question the operations of Australia's border control authorities

"You have to wonder what else the immigration department is hiding from the Australian people. The cloud of secrecy in relation to the governments asylum seeker policies needs to be lifted and a thorough investigation into payments to crews on asylum seeker boats needs to take place

Media Contact: Stephen Henderson 0427 604 760



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