Morrison disappoints asylum seekers on Manus Island: toilets ignored as water shortages continue

| March 2, 2013 | Reply

Scott Morrison’s visit to Manus Island has left asylum seekers there unimpressed. According to reports from the detention camp, Morrison spent 10 or 15 minutes inspecting the main compound and about 5 minutes talking to them.

Asylum seekers say they did not see Morrison inspecting the toilets which are in shocking condition because of the water shortages in the camp for the last week.

There have been water shortages for six days in a row. On Friday there was no water between 2pm and 6pm, and again no water again between 10pm Friday night until 7am this (Saturday) morning.

Asylum seekers report that Morrison refused point blank to discuss anything about processing their asylum claims.

Morrison told eight representatives of the asylum seekers, “I am not from the government, I am from the Opposition. I support the camp so don’t talk to me about your processing. I am not going to do anything about your interviews. That is a matter for the PNG government. I only want to know the facilities here.”

Morrison was told about the lack of water, electricity and air-conditioning; the lack of proper medical facilities, the problems for the six pregnant women in the camp; the lack of emergency treatment at Manus or Port Moresby that means patients in urgent need of specialized treatment spend hours being sent to Australia. “We told him that we sleep in wet beds and about the mice and snakes,” the Refugee Action Coalition was told.

He then went to inspect the Single Adult Males’ Compound, where adult men are still living in tents, saying he would be back, but he didn’t return.

The asylum seekers also complained about the way Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor distorted their meeting with him two days ago.

“He [Brendan O’Connor] said that we have no problem with facilities here, but we told him everything about the facilities here and the lack of water. We worry about our life and our future and about education for our children,” one of the asylum seekers told the Refugee Action Coalition.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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