SUBJECTS: Biloela family; The Prime Minister being snubbed at the G7
JOURNALIST: Inaudible… resettled in Australia?
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, RICHARD MARLES: Well, we welcome the rule of common sense applying. There’s still unresolved legal issues in relation to the daughter of this family, we saw her in a Perth hospital last week. The government has been pretty confused, it would seem over the course of the last few weeks about the fate of this family, so in the midst of that there needs to be a rule of common sense, and that is that they should not be on Christmas Island. So, if that is what’s going to be announced later this morning, then certainly we welcome that.
JOURNALIST: Prior governments, including Labor have put families such as this on Christmas Island, in detention previously. I mean, is there a difference? Like, why are you coming out now saying that they should be here, when in fact, it’s previous governments that have put them there in the first place?
MARLES: Well, the circumstances are quite different, in as much as this family were in a community in Australia, before they were on Christmas Island- that’s where they’ve essentially been placed, while their legal circumstances are resolved- so, it is actually quite a different set of circumstances. I mean, we understand the complexity of this situation. We understand how important it is that there be firm rules in place. But in the midst of all of this, there needs to be a rule of common sense. That’s why there is ministerial discretion within the system. And that’s what should be applied here. And that should be applied in a way where this family are not continued to be housed on Christmas Island, to the tune of millions of dollars of taxpayer’s expense.
JOURNALIST: Was the Prime Minister snubbed in England when Prime Minister Boris Johnson joined the meeting between Scott Morrison and Joe Biden?
MARLES: Well look, I think that’s for the Prime Minister to explain. One would imagine that the Prime Minister was seeking a bilateral meeting with the President of the United States. But the Prime Minister will need to explain that situation.