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Press release from Scott Morrison

Monday 27th February 2012

“Typhoid cases on latest boats highlight the risk of Labor’s border failures”

The confirmation of two cases of typhoid for asylum seekers on recent illegal boat arrivals to Christmas Island highlights again the risks and consequences of Labor’s failed border protection policies, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Scott Morrison said today.

“When illegal boats turn up in our waters there will always be the risk that people on these boats will carry serious communicable diseases. The more boats there are, the greater the risk of serious diseases presenting,” Mr Morrison said.

“Last year there were 56 cases of communicable disease from those who had arrived on illegal boats. These cases included everything from Tuberculosis and Hepatitis C to Chlamydia and Syphilis. These latest cases have now added typhoid to the list,” he said.

“Of greatest immediate concern is the risk to Australians living on Christmas Island, including children attending the local schools, as well those who come in direct contact with asylum seekers including our defence forces, Customs and border protection officers, federal police, detention centre workers, health professionals and immigration staff.

“These Australians have been living on the front line of Labor’s failed border protection for the past four years.

“Despite the best efforts of our health professionals and other officials responsible for dealing with these situations, there are no guarantees that the arrival of people carrying these diseases could not lead to an outbreak on Christmas Island or the transfer of these diseases to the mainland. This is the risk of failed border protection policy.

“In the past three months more than 2,100 people have turned up on 26 illegal boats. This is the highest number of arrivals over summer on record and 50% more than Labor’s previous record two year ago.

“Labor’s largest ever summer of boats followed their decision to introduce mainstream release of asylum seekers into the community, with support payments, free housing and set up packages worth up to $10,000.

“As long as Labor’s soft policies on our borders continue, these boats will continue to arrive along with the risks they carry, including people with serious communicable diseases,” Mr Morrison said.

The following communicable diseases were detected in immigration detention facilities on Christmas Island from 1 July 2010 to 6 May 2011 –

Diagnosis – Total
Chlamydia – 4
Dengue – 2
Gonorrhoea – 1
Hepatitis B – 10
Hepatitis C – 3
Malaria – 1
Pertussis – 1
Shingles – 3
Syphilis – 29
Tetanus – 1
Tuberculosis (active) – 1
Grand Total 56

Scott Morrison

Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship

Source No Place for Sheep who state the source to be Question on Notice, 11/12 Budget Estimates (BE11/0615)

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  1. Jack Cade

    The Prime Minister of Australia is a lowlife. Ridgeydidge, fair dinkum lowlife.
    Any other Aussie pejorative you can drag up.
    He’s it.

  2. Kate Ahearne

    Thanks so much for finding and posting this. That bit about the children attending local schools is beneath contempt. Oh, and maybe those children who had the communicable diseases should have been given medical treatment before being sent to school.

  3. Kaye Lee

    Response from Trent Yarwood, Infectious Diseases Physician and Public Health Registrar:

    “I believe it was a crass piece of political opportunism and was not only using the plight of asylum seekers for point-scoring, but plumbed new depths by making the health conditions suffered by these unfortunate people a further reason for the Australian population to fear them. Even worse than this, however is the gross misrepresentation you committed through your obviously limited understanding of communicable disease and the methods for describing its frequency.”

    He then gives Scott a lesson about the frequency of those diseases in the Australian community and the minimal risk they posed.

    Open letter from an infectious disease physician: Dear Scott Morrison….

  4. Phil

    Morrison surely ranks as a front runner for the 2019 political right wingers most coveted award, ‘The Evil Bastard’

  5. OldWomBat

    Where was morrison, as protector of all immigrant communities, in sanctioning dutton and others in the lnp as they spewed their vile bile?

  6. Kaye Lee

    Spewing alongside them OldWomBat

  7. Kaye Lee

    Morrison says he wasn’t scaremongering. “I simply said that people turned up who had these conditions,” he protests. “I made no statement about the broader impact or risk.” [Oh yes you did fibber dibber]

    A frequent guest on right-wing Sydney talkback radio station 2GB, Morrison has told audiences of seeing “wads of cash” and “large displays of jewellery” among asylum seekers’ possessions at the detention camp on Christmas Island. He has also spoken of “the guns that are coming into this country under Labor’s failed border-protection policies”.

    “I’ve been told by naval officers that they’ve had faeces smeared on them by people they’ve taken onto their boats,” he tells me. “On their faces. That’s happened.”


  8. Mike

    So not only did they stop the boats, boats carried in infectious diseases. It reads like a choose your own adventure

  9. Miriam English

    So they were lying when they said they stopped the boats?
    I’m shocked. (No, I’m not.)

  10. Kaye Lee

    Miriam, the press release is from 2012. As for stopping the boats, “The home affairs department told the Senate estimates committee that since the start of OSB on Sept. 18, 2013, until the end of September last year, 827 people from 34 boats have been returned to their country of origin or departure”


  11. RomeoCharlie29

    Just learning Berejiklian looks like being returned after all the major rags endorsed her and after the despicable campaign agains Daley, culminating in the (admittedly stupid) Asian PhD’s story held by the Libs until it could do the most damage. This is clearly a precursor to what will be the dirtiest LNP campaign ever I predict given that their backs are to the wall and they are also staring into the abyss of defeat. The depths to which they will plunge will make all that has gone before seem like a Sunday School picnic. No stone will go unturned, no barrel will be too deep for bottom-dredging in a bid to get something, anything, derogatory on Labor and Shorten in particular. And as we can see from how the media treated Labor in NSW, we can expect not only distortions but outright lies and appalling front pages. So far Labor and Bill seem to be occupying the high moral ground and I hope they continue to do so. However the last few weeks of the NSW campaign, and the result, show that there’s an apparent willingness on the part of the electorate to forgive even the most egregious excesses of the Liberals if the Murdoch and now Ch9 rags tell them to. Aarh bugger me, another eight weeks. I don’t think I can stand it, and I don’t even read the newspapers any more, or watch Sky or the Commercials. Please forgive all my cliches.

  12. Miriam English

    Kaye, oops. I missed the date. Thanks for the correction. 🙂

    800 people… poor bastards. That would be a drop in the bucket for us. Heart-rending for them.

    RomeoCharlie29, I’ve always said, if Labor fail to break up Murdoch’s control of media in Australia they can expect to never gain power ever again. This might be their last chance. They were fools not to do it last time. Murdoch is the single greatest threat to our democracy… what remains of it.

  13. whatever

    A quick perusal of Google News suggests our ABC has adopted the NewsLTD strategy of publishing lots and lots of the same pro-LNP vanity pieces, to give the impression of ‘popular opinion’.
    We are told that this is a victory for ‘people with long surnames’, which is as close to validating multi-culturism the LNP will get without offending RWNJ’s.
    We are also told that if NewsLTD says you made a ‘gaffe’, then your career is over.
    Our ABC is now the main supplier of LNP cheer, along with third-rate magazine articles that continually ask ‘Are you getting enough sleep?’.

  14. terence mills

    When you consider that Labor’s new leader in NSW [whose name I still can’t remember] had only been in charge for four months and who had a series of faux pas in the campaign and who spent too much energy on the stadiums issue and considering that Gladys Berejiklian had a reasonably good track record and was as wholesome as rye bread and realistically needed to see through her infrastructure projects, not an unexpected result.

    But what do I know, I’m a Queenslander !

  15. Jack Cade

    The truth is that there is no left-leaning msm in Australia. The Guardian trumpets itself as a ‘liberal’ newspaper but shows little evidence of being so. The only purchasable paper that even attempts to be even-handed is The Saturday Paper, which I am pleased to say has survived much longer than I expected.

  16. Peter F

    One problem for NSW which has been ignored is the expansion of land clearing being encouraged by this government.

  17. Kaye Lee

    Peter F

    I so agree. I was disappointed with Labor’s campaign focusing so much on the stadiums issue.

    New South Wales gave permission to clear over 7,000 hectares of native vegetation in 2015-16, the second highest rate of clearing in a decade, while the creation of new conservation areas and restoration of bushland has slumped under the Berejiklian government.

    In 2013-14, 900 hectares was cleared in total. In 2014-15 this jumped to 2,730 hectares and by 2015-16 it had increased to 7,390 hectares.

    At the same time measures to conserve native vegetation, such as new conservation measures and restoration, slumped to the lowest level in a decade. Restoration of native vegetation areas fell to 116,170 hectares in 2015-16, less than half the decade average.

    Weed removal programs also went into reverse, with just a tiny fraction of the areas being managed for weeds – 29,970 hectares compared to the decade average of 182,200 hectares.

    The 2014-16 Native Vegetation report card was released following an eight-month battle by Guardian Australia in the NSW Civil and Administrative tribunal to have it released.


  18. helvityni

    Will Gladys winning in NSW boost Morrison’s chance to win the Federal election…????

    It does not bear thinking about.

    The Governments of the four little Nordic countries must be doing many things right to get to the top positions frequently…

    NZ is among the top ten, Oz is gone down one….

  19. Kaye Lee

    Gladys ran a poor campaign. In the end, they opted for negative campaigning – not really her style but that is what appears to have made the difference. We can be certain that Morrison will do the same.

    But Morrison is crap at nuance and remaining calm. He always overdoes things and gets defensive. He has resting smirk face and a petulant dismissive tone of voice when under pressure – plus, with the amount of negative stuff on the record from the ATM governments, it would be a very dangerous road to go down.

    At the moment, Labor are sticking to beating Morrison with policy. I hope they stay on that course and let the journalists bring up the negative stuff. There is a veritable mountain of it and fact-checking the Coalition is a full-time job with the lies they tell. You can be certain the budget will get enormous scrutiny since it starts, and runs, the election campaign. Very dangerous time to make unrealistic assumptions or porkbarrelling promises with such an uncertain international climate.

    As I was leaving the polling booth yesterday, several people were saying and now for the big one. They are ready already.

  20. Jack Cade

    Let’s face it, NSW Labor set the template for the federal Coalition. It was the closest thing to a mafia since Bjelke-Petersrn, and the Libs thought they’d try it
    John Howard was on the ABC24 news this morning and my cat bolted! He looks like a frigging cadaver.

  21. Kronomex

    “John Howard was on the ABC24 news this morning and my cat bolted! He looks like a frigging cadaver.”

    More like a mutated haemorrhoid.

  22. Phil Gorman

    A bunch of politicians, the Murdoch media and various shock jocks are attempting to air-brush over a history of opportunistic racism. What a sad bunch of odious hypocrites.

    And the saddest of them all is the Prime Minister of The Commonwealth of Ostraya the Rt. hon. Scott Sincerity Morrison.

  23. Miriam English

    Murdoch can be defied. New Zealand pulled Murdoch’s Sky News Australia off the air for repeatedly screening the terrorist attack footage.

    Labor take note. It can be done.

  24. Kronomex

    “…and an accidental and unelected Prime Minister who was pitchforked into the job because enough of his colleagues viewed the alternative, Peter Dutton, as a form of electoral suicide.”

    What bullshit! He backstabbed…damn, the peanut butter fell off my bread roll…lied and plotted his way to the leadership and PM’s position.


    “I’m harmless little Scummo. I don’t want to be leader…bs…bs…and yet more bs.”
    “Well, gosh, oh golly, I suppose I must become leader and PM for the good of the Scummo…er, I mean party. I am so humble…bs…bs…”

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