Seven months ago Julia Gillard promised voters that she would fix the asylum-seeker problem by building a refugee processing centre in East Timor – we now know that will never happen. Today we learn that the government is planning to build a massive new detention centre on the mainland near Darwin at a cost of nearly $10 million. Bringing the centre to the mainland is something nobody wanted, it’s the last resort and an admission of defeat. At a recent Senate committee hearing, Andrew Metcalfe was forced to admit that not a single country had agreed to host a processing centre.
There are many issues on the minds of Australians at the moment - the back-down on the mining tax, the carbon tax and one that causes more angst than any other - people risking their lives to come to Australia in leaky boats. Currently we have 6194 asylum seekers in detention plus the latest arrival of 102 people and three crew. The Prime Minister is making sure that in the future, there will be room for them all.