Q&A audience cheer when Shorten announces his plans for detention centres

It’s been impossible for media to freely report or even go to Nauru or Manus Island since last year, but
Politics

It’s been impossible for media to freely report or even go to Nauru or Manus Island since last year, but that could soon all change if Bill Shorten becomes PM.

Last night on ABC’s panel program Q&A, the Opposition leader spoke about a number of issues including a possible Indigenous treaty, but it was one word that had everyone in the audience applauding: “yeah”.

The Labor Prime Minister candidate told host Tony Jones it was time to let go of the secrecy around border protection issues and the offshore detention system.

According to the Australian Border Force Bill 2015, it is currently a criminal offence — punishable by two years imprisonment — for entrusted employees working in detention facilities to “disclose” or “record” protected information to the media and external organisations.

There are also restrictions on media travelling to Nauru or Manus Island to record the facilities.

“If I was Prime Minister it would have to be an amazing set of circumstances where we’re not prepared to tell you what’s going on,” he said.

Jones then clarified if that meant a Labor government would “allow journalists, independent observers onto Nauru and Manus Island or any offshore detention centre”.

“Yeah,” Mr Shorten said, drawing loud applause from the audience.

“When I say that I do that on the basis that I don’t want to see the people smugglers back in business.

“A Labor government will not be, will not be, any different to the Liberals in terms of our determination to stop the people smugglers full stop.

“When it comes to transparency and the way that people directly or indirectly in Australia’s care are treated I do not see why that has to be a secret”.

We want to know your thoughts today: Would you support more openness about offshore detention centres? Or should whatever happens over there, stays over there?

  1. Pauline Miles  

    I hope that transparency extends to our aged care residents & hospital patients as they also come under the govts direct & indirect care Nurses / doctors etc are also not able to disclose protected
    information to the media

  2. Roy Bridges  

    Don’t trust him , will change border protection. Does not tell the truth

    • How can you make a blanket statement like that!!! Now if we were talking about Tony Abbottt! I’d say ok! BUT, you’ve never had a Shorten government!!! You cannot fault his equality and fairness policies; so why don’t you give the man a ‘Fair Go’!!!

      • Murray Satchell  

        You’re joking. Equality and fairness!!! How about sleazy union thug who is promising the world and the gullible actually believe he has the capacity to deliver. Not a squeak about his mate, Dan the Deceptor, dancing to the EWU’s tune and destroying the C F A.

    • You have absolutely no proof of that – however, there is plenty of proof that the coalition are liars and not to be trusted.

    • Deborah  

      That’s right…he can not be trusted. ..if he gets in the borders will open and we will be flooded with boats and get into so much debt again.

  3. Alan Rawlinson  

    Nice to see “open government ” return..

    • Deborah  

      Yeah…open government. AND…open borders. ..AGAIN….is that what you want.

    • Mia Van Der Stam  

      An open government, who openly spends money stupidly- the spending we are paying for now. An open government who openly lets illegal immigrants in

  4. Mavis Moore  

    Totally Agree. The secrecy is disgusting. Also agree with the openness for aged care facilities.

  5. Gwen Searle  

    He can’t be trusted. That will be the then edge of the wedge, showing that he will give into journalist pressure. The next step will be more boats.He is not a strong leader if a few lousy words from journalists who only want a story can make him do what they want.

    • What an imbecilic thing to say…His name is Shorten not Abbott or Turdballs. God forbid, people might get to know what really goes on in those hell holes

  6. Rob  

    No way would I trust Shorten – he will say Yes to get a position look at his history with unions you cannot trust this fool

    • Oh no…not the dreaded unions. Can’t have any leader who believes in rights for the battler can we? Babbott and Turdballs are like any liberal govt. Only there for their own pockets and their rich mates

  7. Wendy Burton  

    Come on people..it is very important that we are not told about things relating to our security..most of those in detention are not genuine refugees. IF Governments allow us to know the ins and outs of everything that goes on we are in danger so I for one just want them to do what they have to do to keep us safe and so far this country has been very lucky even though we have many people that are already here that wish us harm..security measures are in place so lets keep it that way.

    • I think it is very important that we are told about what is going on in these hell holes because it is in our name. For all we know they could be detention centres like those Hitler ran. And how do you know they are not genuine refugees? Do you know something the rest of Australia doesn”t?

  8. John LEAR  

    This smells rather Green. You may think you can trust Shorten but never underestimate the Green influence in the Labour Party. Sorry but Rudd, Gillard era debacles left a bad taste.

  9. All public servants are legally prohibited from releasing their employers’ confidential information to the press or public. It’s nothing new.

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