Lisa Wilkinson takes Peter Dutton to task on offshore detention.

 

“Don’t we want asylum seekers to have fulfilling lives?” she asked.

Peter Dutton is refusing to give assurances that Baby Asha — the one-year-old asylum seeker at the centre of an ongoing protest at Brisbane’s Lady Cilento hospital — won’t be sent back to Nauru.

Yesterday, supporters of the #LetThemStay campaign to prevent the deportation of 267 asylum seekers to the island’s detention facility celebrated a small victory when the Immigration Minister conceded that the infant be allowed to stay.

Asha was quietly transferred from the hospital to a community detention facility this morning, but there is no guarantee she will be allowed to stay there — a point, which Lisa Wilkinson jumped on when she interviewed Dutton on the Today show this morning.

Wilkinson pressed Dutton for details on the circumstances surrounding Baby Asha’s admission to hospital, the results of “accidental” burns she received while living on Nauru.

Dutton was unable — or unwilling — to provide a sufficient explanation, saying the matter was under investigation by the Queensland Police.

“The government seems to have this policy of no transparency whatsoever, no case workers at the detention centre’s are allowed to talk about any of the abuses that have happened whilst in detention,” Wilkison said before asking, “are you going to put the same silence over Queensland Police over this issue?”

Dutton countered that she had not made a “factual statement”.

“We’re not getting any facts, that’s the problem,” she bit back.

Wilkinson then went on to question why the government had said ‘thanks, but no thanks’ to New Zealand’s generous offer to house the asylum seekers under a forgotten deal made with the Gillard government on 2012.

Journalist David Marr gives his take on the decision on ABC’s Insiders yesterday: 

“Don’t we want asylum seekers to have fulfilling lives?” she asked.

“There is just 150 people who could be saved in this situation and this is your role not mine.”

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