Labor’s new shadow home affairs minister, Kristina Keneally, has defended previous comments suggesting refugees on Manus Island and Nauru should be resettled in Australia instead of the United States.
The Conservative Party has always supported stronger borders and such a move would only serve to weaken them.
The Herald Sun reports, Senator Keneally has come under fire from Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton for a series of columns she wrote for the Guardian Australia website before entering federal Parliament, in which she also called for a royal commission into Australia’s offshore detention of children.
New Labor leader Anthony Albanese yesterday unveiled his shadow frontbench, with Senator Keneally given the task of taking the fight to Mr Dutton as the Opposition spokeswoman for Home Affairs and Immigration.
In a 2017 column, Senator Keneally suggested Malcolm Turnbull should “bring the refugees to Australia” amid doubts about whether Donald Trump would honour a refugee swap deal.
In a column two years earlier , Senator Keneally called for a royal commission into Australia’s offshore processing of children following the release of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s report into the situation. The former NSW premier yesterday said she no longer thought there needed to be a royal commission because the children were now off Manus and Nauru. She said she supported the US trade swap deal and her reservations were about whether the agreement would be honoured.