Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN
At this moment there are more than 600 desperate asylum seekers on Manus Island being denied food, water, shelter and safety by your federal colleague, Peter Dutton, who has repeatedly demonised and mischaracterised them and continues to lie about their circumstances. Tasmanian Greens Senator, Nick McKim, is on Manus Island, bearing witness -
Ms O'CONNOR - Are you actually going to try to crack a joke when we are talking about 600 desperate men on Manus Island? You disgraceful human beings.
Tasmanian Greens Senator, Nick McKim, is on Manus Island bearing witness to this disgraceful, shameful denial of our national responsibility for the welfare of these men.
Will you, on behalf of all compassionate Tasmanians, speak up for the men on Manus and make a representation to the acting prime minister, Julie Bishop, today, condemning Peter Dutton's utter inhumanity and demanding the Australian Government take responsibility for the welfare of the desperate men on Manus Island?
Mr Speaker, I thank the member for the question which correctly points out this is a matter for the federal government. With respect to what the Tasmanian Government would do, we have shown a very strong approach to supporting humanitarian entrants to our state, to refugees in response to the Syrian and Iraqi humanitarian crisis. For example, we were very swift to open our doors and welcome an increased number of refugees to our state. I was delighted when families first began arriving in October.
Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Mr Speaker. Standing order 45; relevance. The question was specific to the circumstances of the men on Manus Island, who are in desperate danger, in crisis and need action now.
Mr SPEAKER - Ms O'Connor, you have put the question; the Premier is answering it. As you know, there is some leniency given to the way members ask questions. There is also some leniency given to the way a minister or the Premier can answer them. I will allow the Premier -
Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Mr Speaker. The question was entirely specific to Manus Island. I kept it that way so the Premier could address the issue.
Mr SPEAKER - The Premier has the call.
Mr HODGMAN - Thank you, Mr Speaker. I do not think anyone in the community would feel that any one political party has a greater care threshold for those who come to our country in difficult circumstances, including the families that I was very pleased to see start arriving in Tasmania as a result of this Government opening the doors and providing humanitarian support for refugees and asylum seekers to our state; matters that are under our control and happening under a majority Liberal government.
Ms O'Connor - You gutless squib.
Mr SPEAKER - Ms O'Connor, I would ask you to withdraw that. It is completely unparliamentary.
Ms O'Connor - I withdraw it, but it is true.