This is a flow on from the Djokovic saga: You can make your own mind up.
Fordham: The Novak Djokovic case has raised another issue. He was kept in a Melbourne hotel that also holds asylum seekers that have been denied visas. There are refugees in that same hotel who have been detained for more than nine years, and taxpayers fork out millions of dollars to keep them in limbo. How is that acceptable?
Prime Minister: Well, the specific cases, Ben, I mean, it’s not clear that to my information that someone in that case is actually a refugee. They may have sought asylum and been found not to be a refugee and have chosen not to return. And that’s that’s a very, that happens in this country, people aren’t found to be refugees and they won’t return. And they don’t have a visa to enter Australia, then obviously they can’t enter Australia.Interview with Ben Fordham, 2GB
And then this…..
JOURNALIST: …On Monday, you said that those held in the Park Hotel in Melbourne were not refugees. Most of them are. 25 of them are. Do you apologise for that mistake? Or if you, if you’re now aware that that is not the case, is it appropriate that some of those people have been held in detention for more than eight years?
PRIME MINISTER:…. I didn’t make the statement that every single person was who was in that place was not a refugee. I said that was, to my understanding, the case with some people who were there. There are a number of people who were at that facility who have not been found to be owed protection.
JOURNALIST: [Inaudible] I’m asking about the 25 people …
PRIME MINISTER: They are all in various stages, various stages of the pathway to where they will ultimately be located. Now, as I can tell you, as it was confirmed to me this morning that those who are there, with some obvious exceptions, who have who arrived more recently, are people who came to Australia, illegally entered Australia by boat…. The suggestion that I said they were all not found to be refugees is not true. That’s not what I said. It was a question in a radio interview. I answered to the best of my knowledge at that time. And in quite a number of cases, that was indeed the case. There are people who who are in detention, who are not owed protection under the, under the Refugee Convention and our rules. Others, but I can tell you the ones that are, they arrived in Australia illegally by boat.Press Conference – Canberra, ACT
For quite a while, it has been the convention of the coalition to declare that you cannot be a refugee if you come to Australia by boat. No matter if you cannot afford air travel, no matter that you cannot wait for diplomatic clearance because your country is trying to kill you, not matter that if you return to your country you will die, spend the rest of your life as a political prisoner etc. etc… Coming by boat = bad.