The Weipa community is up in arms after the announcement that the RAAF Scherger air force base will be turned into a detention centre to house an influx of asylum?seekers.
The announcement made today by Immigration Minister Chris Bowen has sent the Weipa community into a spin.
“The community have been lied to ? there is no question about it,
“This is just another example of the deceit and lies of the Gillard Government and we want answers and want them now,” said Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch.
“The community raised concerns about this during the 2010 federal election campaign just a matter of months ago and the media asked the questions directly of the Gillard Government at the time and they straight out lied to them. They said and I quote “On current plans asylum seekers will not be housed at RAAF Scherger. Nor will an immigration detention centre be built at RAAF Scherger. The defence facility at Curtin is the only defence site being used by the Government to accommodate asylum seekers.
“The preliminary work on this project which commenced during the federal election campaign was shrouded in secrecy. The Weipa locals got wind of it and they asked questions and were told that it was nothing more than a rumour and not to worry about it,
“The reality is the locals witnessed with their own eyes 4,000 post holes being dug to build a 12 km internal fence at the base and lighting on the airstrip had been upgraded. A number of accommodation blocks had also been delivered to the base,” Mr Entsch said.
The Leichhardt MP said this just shows the level of disrespect the Gillard Government have for the indigenous people and the Weipa community as a whole.
“How dare they treat this region with such blatant disregard. Look what happens when the Labor Party get into power all of a sudden the lies and deceitfulness rise to the surface and these liars are exposed for who they really are,
“They have not consulted the community on this and they have showed a complete lack of respect for the traditional indigenous owners of the land by not asking their permission.
“This is just like Wild Rivers, the Gillard Government have no regard for the wants and needs of the indigenous peoples. Who the hell does Julia Gillard and Chris Bowen think they are?.”
Mr Entsch said the announcement today to establish the facility in Weipa in the Far North also shows that the Gillard Government have no appropriate solution for the processing of asylum seekers.
“It is obvious that the Gillard Government does not have an appropriate solution to cope with the massive influx of asylum seekers nor an offshore processing facility which is what Australians want and need. Julia Gillard and Chris Bowen need to step up and explain themselves.”
Mr Entsch said this is not the first time the Gillard Government has lied and he will be exposing more examples in coming months.
“The announcement today has disgusted me to no end. I cannot believe Chris Bowen and Julia Gillard have done this,” he said.