THE COALITION’S announcement to settle 2000 asylum seekers on Nauru has been marred by reports an exploratory trip by the Shadow Immigration Minister was funded by a logistics company set to profit from the deal.
Shadow Immigration Minister Scott Morrison travelled to Nauru with a photographer and journalist from News Corporation to reveal plans for the Coalition’s “tent city” solution. The trip was facilitated by Toll Holdings who also paid for News Corporation’s flights.
News Corporation chairman and chief executive Rupert Murdoch has been vocal in his support for the Coalition and contempt for Labor.
“Australian public now totally disgusted with Labor Party wrecking country with its sordid intrigues. Now for a quick election,” Mr Murdoch said on Twitter on 26 June.
Toll Holdings provide “camp and base logistics in remote locations and emerging markets”. The company offer a permanent camp option suitable for “long term or permanent projects”.
Toll Holdings would “build, own and operate” the camps and stand to make millions if the deal goes ahead.
The Coalition claims their “tent city” policy is a cheaper and faster solution then Labor’s plans to hold asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea.
Coalition leader Tony Abbott told the Seven’s Sunrise programme that Nauru was “quite a pleasant island” and “by no means an unpleasant place to live”. He also added that the “tent city” would be temporary part of a five year plan.
But the Coalition party has to win the election first.
A Twitter storm erupted following the publication of the Fairfax article revealing Toll Holdings had paid for the Coalition and News Corporation visit to Nauru.
Greens Senator for South Australia, Sarah Hanson-Young labelled the financial arrangements “dodgy”.
Senator Hanson-Young posted on Twitter:
Dodgy. Seems it’s not just people smugglers who are looking to profit from the desperation of refugees.
– Sarah Hanson-Young (@sarahinthesen8) July 30, 2013
This is what members of the press had to say:
No man is in island. Except, of course, Scott Morrison, for who the smell tolls. Bad puns, but this stinks.https://t.co/0hjgyP7oNb
– Mike Carlton (@MikeCarlton01) July 30, 2013
A very iffy arrangement Via everyone. – Monica Attard (@attardmon) July 30, 2013
Hidden Toll of Glamping. Asylum logistics cpny funds Coalition Nauru trip via @jonathanvswan pic.twitter.com/ELuzwIuD5s – Damien Bright (@damienbright) July 30, 2013
Most outrageous is telling journalists to get policy details from other newspapers’ articles
– Bridie Jabour (@bkjabour) July 30, 2013