Bowen caught out on numbers, page-33

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    Immigration Minister is hopeless at his job

    Howard SattlerPerthNow
    August 9, 2011 4:46PM

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    THE evidence is compelling that Immigration Minister Chris Bowen is hopeless at his job.

    This week’s High Court decision to extend its injunction preventing his department from removing 16 asylum seekers to Malaysia must surely have put his position on notice.

    From when he was appointed Mr Bowen’s handling of the portfolio has been a fiasco.

    People smugglers have sent a record number of boats from Indonesia, attempts by the government to find an off shore processing solution in East Timor have failed through its own pig headedness and its presided over the worst human tragedy when one of the rickety vessels foundered on Christmas island.


    He’s upset the majority of residents in Northam by inflicting a centre on that WA town.

    Riots, looting, burning and self harming episodes have become regular occurrences when asylum seekers do not achieve their goals.

    Now the Minister’s "Malaysia solution" has come a cropper and with it, exposed further incompetence on his watch.

    Judge Kenneth Hayne, using the unelected High Court’s powers to gazump the government, did not immediately buy the Minister’s claim that his department was on “very strong legal grounds” to enforce the removal of asylum seekers to Malaysia.

    He declared the policy posed a "sufficiently serious question" to warrant the scrutiny of the court’s full bench. In other words there was a prima facie case to uphold the objection of the boat people.

    What also failed to impress him was the failure of the Immigration legal team to present proper paperwork for the case, despite the Minister’s assertion that he had expected legal challenges.

    Last I checked the buck stopped at the top of the departmental tree.

    The boat people are represented free of charge by the Refugee and Immigration Legal centre in Melbourne, whose lawyers are currently giving their opponents a shellacking.

    If you think that’s reason for mirth consider this. The centre is 50 per cent funded by the same government whose policies it is trying to destroy.


 
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