MP raises questions about Syrian refugee screenings
WATERTIGHT security screening of Syrian refugees will be needed to protect Australians from terrorism attacks, according to Federal Member for Dawson, George Christensen.
Mr Christensen on Tuesday put a Question on Notice to the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, requesting the exact procedures, questions, and checks that would be made when screening the 12,000 Syrian refugees the government has committed to accept.
He also asked who would conduct the screening and what assurances they could provide to the Australian people that the screening process would be effective.
"ISIS has stated their intention to sneak terrorists into Western countries disguised as refugees and we have seen from experience those attempts have been successful," Mr Christensen said.
"We would be foolish to think for one minute that no potential terrorist would attempt to enter Australia as part of the 12,000 Syrian refugee intake.
"It only takes one terrorist out of the 12,000 coming from Syria to commit atrocities such as we have seen in Paris on Australian shores."
Mr Christensen also has asked the Minister how determinations would be made when a refugee's background was unknown or uncertain.
"When Labor trashed our border security and was running a water taxi service for people smugglers, we had reports of alleged asylum seekers calling for rescue and then destroying their phones and identity documents," Mr Christensen said.
"One has to ask why they would do that if they had nothing to hide.
"We now have reports of alleged refugees entering Europe with fake Syrian documents, which are more reasons why we need tight security screening on every single person that comes into this country claiming to be a refugee.
"I have asked the Minister if the Australian Government is aware of falsified Syrian background papers being purchased from Syrian officials and what measure will be part of the screening process to counter fake Syrian documents.
"We cannot afford to let our guard down for an instant because we know there are people out there who hate us and our way of life and wish to do us harm.
"Ignoring or denying that fact would only lead to lax security and increased likelihood of an attack on Australian soil."
Questions for the minister Mr Christensen tabled in parliament today included:
To ask the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection-In respect of the security screening process of the 12,000 Syrian refugees that the Government has undertaken to accept,
(a) who will conduct the screening process,
(b) what exact
(ii) questions, and
(iii) checks, will be conducted as part of the security screening process,
(c) what assurances is the Government providing to the Australian people that security screening of refugees will be effective, and
(d) what determination will be made if an individual's background is unknown or uncertain.
To ask the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection-In respect of reports of fake Syrian passports being seized,
(a) is the Government aware of any evidence of falsified Syrian background papers being purchased from Syrian officials, and
(b) what measures has the Government implemented for the security screening process to counter fake Syrian background documents.