The Senate has passed the Greens Order to Produce Documents, compelling the Government to reveal whether taxpayer funds were spent paying off the crews of asylum seeker boats out on the high seas.
The Government now has until 3:00pm EST tomorrow, Wednesday June 17 to comply.
“Allegations that $30,000 in taxpayer money has been used to pay people traffickers are extremely serious, and cannot be ignored,” Greens spokesperson for Immigration Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
"Paying for the trafficking of people is illegal. The Australian public have a right to know what has occurred, how much money has been spent and who in the Government authorised payments to be made.
"The Government has failed to be upfront about paying people smugglers so the Senate has now moved to force the information to be tabled in the Parliament.
“To claim that this information is a matter of national security is a cynical exercise by the Government. It doesn't hold and everyone, including the Government, knows it.
"The Abbott Government's "whatever it takes" mantra comes at a cost and it's time they faced the music. Paying bribes to boat crews amounts to people trafficking, not improving national security.
"The Government does not have a free pass to do whatever it wants in secret or to act illegally.
“If the Government was serious about saving lives at sea they would increase the refugee intake. They would provide safer pathways by working with our closest neighbours like Indonesia in collaboration with the United Nations, not starting diplomatic fights.”
Media Contact: Rachel Ryan 0427 604 760