In a stunning rebuke, the Human Rights Commission was roundly condemned by Prime Minister Tony Abbott for a shocking bias in favour of human rights in its report on children in Australia’s detention centres.
Mr Abbott, a renowned impartial commentator in Australian politics, slammed the report over its findings that immigration detention was “a dangerous place” where children suffered frequent abuse, declaring it a “blatant example of partisanship” against child abuse.
Rounding on HRC commissioner Gillian Triggs, Abbott said it was all very well is she had her own “personal views” against forcing children to endure horrific conditions, but that as a public figure, she was expected to take a more impartial approach.
“I understand that she has her view, and that’s fine,” the prime minister told The (un)Australian. “But its like she didn’t even bother to try balancing out her personal position on not forcing children to suffer conditions akin to mental torture with the views put quite firmly by the Liberal Party on our need to win elections with three word slogans.”
Mr Abbott was particularly dismissive of the HRC’s proposal for a Royal Commission into children in detention, insisting: “We are not going to waste tax-payers money with a Royal Commission over something as partisan and petty as the incarceration of innocent children who have committed no crime in horrific conditions condemned by mental health experts as hellholes that breed despair and self-harm.
“We prefer to keep Royal Commissions for the really important issues our society faces, such as whether any Labor politicians ever misused a trade union credit card.”