Mr Dutton told Sky News today that the mood on the island had been tense following an alleged incident “where three asylum seekers were alleged to be leading a local five-year-old boy back toward the facility”.
“There was concern about why the boy was being led or for what purpose he was being led away back in the regional processing centre,” Mr Dutton said.
“I think it’s fair to say the mood had elevated quite quickly. I think some of the local residents were quite angry about this particular incident and another alleged sexual assault.”
In an exclusive interview, the Minister Responsible for Incarceration, Mr Peter Plod, revealed that he had no information about what caused the shooting incident but he was happy to speculate and spread nasty innuendo.
AIMN: Good morning, Mr Plod.
Plod: Good morning.
AIMN: What’s the latest information about the incident on Manus?
Plod: Well, I understand that several asylum seekers were filmed throwing a child into the ocean.
Plod: Yes, apparently there’s a video.
AIMN: And you’ve seen the video?
Plod: No, but I’m told by a very reliable source that it exists and it proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that these people throw children into the sea…
AIMN: But just yesterday you were implying that this was related to an alleged sexual assault?
Plod: Yes, I stand by that as well.
AIMN: But the PNG police have said that nothing of the sort occurred, that a ten-year-old boy had been taken into the centre because he was asking for food and there was no allegation of sexual assault.
Plod: I’m not going to comment on an ongoing investigation by the PNG police.
AIMN: But it doesn’t sound like they’re investigating anything.
Plod: No, Look the point is that these people in the centre aren’t very nice people. Otherwise why would the armed forces be shooting at them?
AIMN: Well you couldn’t have unarmed forces shooting at them…
Plod: What? Or, no the point is that it was defence personnel who launched the attack. That surely tells you that it was deserved.
AIMN: So you’re suggesting that any time asylum seekers are attacked it’s their own fault.
Plod: Illegal immigrants.
Plod: They’re illegal immigrants. People who come to Australia by boat are illegal immigrants…
AIMN: But they never made it to Australia.
Plod: No but they intended to. Just like they had intentions with that five-year-old boy…
AIMN: But the incident with the boy appears to be a complete fabrication.
Plod: You’re overlooking the video.
AIMN: There’s a video of a five-year-old boy being led into the centre.
Plod: No there’s a video of these people throwing children in the water. I just told you about a minute ago.
AIMN: Who has it?
Plod: Peter Reith, I’m told, and I don’t want to be bothering him now, because he’s not well.
AIMN: So let’s get this straight. You’re no longer claiming that a five-year-old boy being led away and linking that to some alleged sexual assault?
Plod: That’s not what I said… I never claimed that at all. You’re trying to put words into my mouth!
AIMN: So, what did you claim?
Plod: I merely confirmed that there was a definite rumour and that shots were fired and it was probably something to do with that alleged sexual assault and some kid being led away and all those children in the water. Whatever, they’re not the sort of people who should be allowed to stay.
AIMN: On Manus Island or here?
Plod: So I don’t follow.
AIMN: Never mind. If I can just move on to the citizenship test. Let’s take the English skills test. How good does your English have to be? Like, for example, would Matthias Cormann pass?
Plod: That’s really offensive. Making fun of someone just because he has a little bit of an accent.
AIMN: I wasn’t making fun of him. It was a genuine question. I just wondered if people had a thick accent like that, would they pass the test?
Plod: Oh. In that case, no. It’s far too foreign.
AIMN: And some of the questions on the front page of the paper yesterday… Are they really the sort of thing you’ll be asking?
Plod: Give me an example.
AIMN: “Under what circumstances is it appropriate to prohibit girls from education?”
Plod: Great question.
AIMN: Is the answer, “When they can’t afford their HECS debt”?
AIMN: Here’s another: “While it is illegal to use violence in public, under what circumstances can you strike your partner in the privacy of your home?”
AIMN: So. What’s the answer?
Plod: Ah… I don’t have the answers. I just helped out with a few of the questions. We didn’t have to supply answers. That’s up to the applicants.
AIMN: So the answer isn’t, “If you are the leader of a political party in (
REMOVED FOR LEGAL REASONS AND BECAUSE IT WAS A LONG TIME AGO AND IT WAS ALL HUSHED UP)”
Plod: That’s an outrageous thing to say! You’re just repeating unsubstantiated rumours. I bet you wouldn’t do that if it were a Labor guy.
AIMN: So you have a problem with someone repeating unsubstantiated rumours. Now that’s ironic.
Plod: What is?
AIMN: Ok, back to question. What if someone wrote, “You are allowed to strike your partner if he’s coming at you with a knife”?
Plod: Look, I’m not going to give the answers. This is the government’s way of ensuring that we get the right sort of people gaining citizenship.
AIMN: Yeah, but it’s too late to exclude Abbott’s parents.
Plod: Pity that… Don’t write that down. Write: Tony was a great PM, he just had trouble explaining things to people, and it was a shame but when his poll numbers dropped that low he to go. Emphaise the bit about poll numbers, but don’t say anything directly about Malcolm’s being just as bad. And say that we all should remeber that Tony really loved Australia and he had great ideas about what the country should be like.
AIMN: And what did he think the country should be like?
Plod: Well, more like England really, with knights and dames and lots and lots of English people.
AIMN: So when do you think we’ll get to see this video?
Plod: What video?
AIMN: The children being thrown into the sea.
Plod: Oh, that’s an on-water matter. It’s classified. But you can trust us. We wouldn’t make something like that up.
AIMN: Thanks, Mr Plod.
Plod: And thanks for not asking me about any leadership challenge.
AIMN: Yes, it would be, wouldn’t it?
AIMN: A challenge. Leadership, I mean.
Plod: I don’t understand.