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Senate votes for inquiry into bribes paid to people smugglers

The Senate has voted to establish a parliamentary inquiry into payments made by Australian Government officials to boat crew members and people traffickers. The inquiry was moved by the Greens after the Government refused to comply with an Order to Produce Documents and will report back to the Senate in September.

“The Government's refusal to be straight with the public or the parliament about bribes paid to people smugglers is a disgrace and will now be challenged through this Inquiry,” Greens Immigration Spokesperson Sarah Hanson-Young said.

“The public has a right to know what has occurred, how much money was paid to traffickers and who authorised it.

“This is Australian taxpayers money and claims from the Prime Minister that it should all be kept secret is arrogant and dangerous.

“The Senate has rejected the Governments claims of public immunity, knowing that the public deserves the truth.

“The government doesn't have a free pass for doing whatever wants with taxpayers money and has no mandate to break law by paying people smugglers.

“People trafficking is one of the most serious transnational crimes and would represent a new low for the Australian Government if it is found it had engaged in this.”

Media Contact: Rachel Ryan 0427 604 760

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