Australian Greens moves motion to condemn gov't's asylum seekers policy (2)

14:34, May 30, 2011      

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Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said the Malaysia deal is "conceived in denial and negotiated in desperation".

"Confusion still reigns over when it (the swap of asylum seekers with Malaysia) starts and who goes there and who does not. It is quite clear the Malaysian government will have a right of veto over who goes to their country," he said in Canberra on Monday.

He also said asylum seekers will be held on Christmas Island indefinitely because the deal has not been finalized.

Meanwhile, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen expressed disappointment with the Greens' course of action.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the federal government will proceed with plans to set up a regional processing center in Malaysia for asylum seekers, despite the Greens condemning the proposal.

A successful motion in the lower house would also have a chance of passing in the Senate where the Greens, who will hold the balance of power in the upper house from July, could vote with the opposition and independent MPs.

If the Greens' motion get through, it will mean both houses of Parliament have taken the unusual path of condemning a government policy.

Meanwhile, the opposition on Monday also moved a motion in Parliament for a select committee to investigate Australia's immigration detention network, including the recent riots in Christmas Island, and Sydney's Villawood detention center.

Wilkie has indicated he will support the opposition's motion, and the Greens are still in talks over the details of the inquiry.
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Source: Xinhua
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