A refugee advocate today said plans to stop the federal government potentially sending 267 asylum seekers to Nauru included an “emergency contingency to keep them hidden from authorities by having them stand next to Bill Shorten wherever he goes”.
The advocate told The (un)Australian: “There is a saying that sometimes, the best place to hide is in plain sight, but that sounds far too risky so we decided we should put them as far out of mind and sight as possible. In other words, wherever Shorten is at any point in time.”
The advocate admitted their first plan had been to hide the asylum seekers, whom the High Court ruled last week could be deported to Nauru within 72 hours, with the leader of the Opposition’s spine. “The problem was no one could establish if he’d ever had one, much less has a clue where it could be.”
Asked about the much-publicised offer by Australian churches to provide sanctuary to the asylum seekers, which include 37 babies, to stop them being sent to Nauru’s widely-condemned “hell hole” camp, the advocate said: “That is truly inspiring offer, a wonderful example solidarity and compassion in the true christian spirit. But one of the key things we’re trying to do here is ensure these children are safe from abuse, so we just figured maybe we needed a Plan B that doesn’t include this nation’s churches.”
On whether Shorten, who supports the government’s stance and has opposed Labor premiers who have offered to house the asylum seekers, would not just alert the authorities to the asylum seekers presence, the advocate said: “Oh, we’re pretty sure Bill would actually just appreciate the company.”