Saffin does backflip on refugees
MEMBER for Page Janelle Saffin has defended the Federal Government decision to process asylum seekers in Nauru.
Federal Labor previously distanced itself from policies that included Nauru, but recent findings from an expert panel have allowed the Gov- ernment to backflip.
The panel was headed by former Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston and reviewed Australia's asylum policy and recommended offshore processing in several places, including Nauru and Malaysia, and turning boats away.
"I have long supported onshore processing and won't abandon it, but I'm willing to give this a go because we've reached an impasse and something has to be done to stop people getting on boats and risking their lives," Ms Saffin said.
"The report stresses a humanitarian approach and that Nauru and Manus Island will not be detention centres."
Nationals candidate for Page Kevin Hogan welcomed the findings and blamed Labor for recent asylum seeker tragedies.
"Houston's recommendations will go a long way, I believe, to not giving the people smugglers a product to sell," Mr Hogan said.
"It is unfortunate the Labor Government has taken so long to get to this position and the tragedies it has caused."
Larnook resident and former Vietnamese refugee Anton Nguyen said offshore processing was irrespon- sible.