New social services minister Scott Morrison has announced plans to bring to his new job some of key lessons learned during his successful stint as immigration minister, starting with a bold proposal to deport all unemployed people to Cambodia.
“I am strong believer in applying successful formulas,” Morrison, who was appointed social services minister in December, told The (Un)Australian. “If something has worked well in one area, the basic principles should work just as well in others.
“And so I have developed what I call the ‘Cambodian Solution’ to finally solve Australia’s unemployment problem. Under my plan, anyone who applies for Newstart benefits gets relocated to the south-east Asian nation.”
Morrison said he believed this would quickly distinguish between what he called the “small minority in genuine need” from the “vast majority of dole bludgers”, noting: “If they are truly in need, then why should it matter if they receive their fortnightly, taxpayer-funded payments in Penrith or Phnom Penh?
“After all, your dollar will go much further in an impoverished Third World country still yet to recover from sustained American bombings followed by one of the most genocidal regimes in the all of human history, which means better value for money for the taxpayer, which is so important given our budget emergency.”
Asked whether Cambodians were happy about a proposal to have their country turned over to hundreds of thousands of jobless Aussies, Morrison said: “Oh I speak constantly to Cambodians, specifically those in government desperate to secure Australian aid dollars, and I find they are generally happy to accommodate whatever requests we may have.”
While acknowledging that finalising details with Cambodia’s government may take some time, Morrison was quick to point that, “I also have a few friends in Papua New Guinea from my last gig who run this great camp for us. So I am pretty sure I can swing accommodation for Australia’s unemployed while negotiations drag on”.