The Backburner

22 Feb 2016 - 4:30 PM  UPDATED 22 Feb 2016 - 4:30 PM

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton has announced that a child at the center of protests against sending her back to detention won’t be returned to Nauru until he is absolutely certain no one is paying attention.


“Australia has spoken very clearly about this and we intend to respond in the way we feel is best and coincidentally will stop this PR nightmare,” Mr Dutton told reporters.


“We’re pleased to announce that instead of being returned to Nauru, baby Asha will go into community detention until the heat is off us and we can quietly return her to Nauru.


“The public’s overwhelming response to the idea of sending this child back to detention was outrage and disgust, having taken that on board there is absolutely, no way she’ll be returned in the next few weeks while the issue still has media scrutiny.


“I would hate to think that it seems like the government is taking an unforgiving position on a policy whose efficacy relies entirely on terrifying asylum seekers so much that they don’t want to come here. I mean that’s absolutely the case, it’s just we don’t want it to seem like that.”


The move has been met positively by activists, who see a momentary glimmer of temporary compassion for an innocent child as the best you could possibly expect to get from Mr Dutton:


“It might just be one asylum seeker and it may only be a temporary measure but at least the government have proved to use that they aren’t entirely heartless when it behooves them to appear somewhat sympathetic in the hopes the protests will stop.

“It’s a starting point: today we have one asylum seeker who is ostensibly not being sent back to detention but in reality is, maybe tomorrow we’ll have one who is actually not being sent back to detention.”




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