Parliament to probe Manus Island riot
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison's conduct will be
reviewed as part of the parliamentary inquiry in the Manus Island
violence. Photo: James Alcock
of the recent deadly violence on Manus Island to a parliamentary
committee that will free public servants and contractors from
confidentiality clauses in their employment contracts.
Having persuaded the Labor Party to back the inquiry, Greens
senator Sarah Hanson-Young will push for it to conduct hearings inside
the Australian-run detention centre where more than 60 asylum seekers
were injured and one died last month.
Detainees have so far spoken, on the promise of anonymity, of
local security contractors and others invading the centre and savagely
beating and slashing detainees who tried to hide in the bedrooms after a
Other staff have told Fairfax Media they know the identity of the man who killed Iranian detainee Reza Barati.
''I think it's going to be difficult to run a genuine inquiry
unless we get there,'' Senator Hanson-Young said after agreeing with
Labor on wide-ranging terms of reference for the probe.
The combined numbers of Labor and the Greens in the Senate
ensure the inquiry will go ahead and will be dominated by non-government
MPs. It will be chaired by Greens senator Penny Wright.
Under its terms of reference, the inquiry will review the
conduct of the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott
Morrison, ''before, during and after the incident''.
The inquiry will take evidence in April, after the inquiry
set up by the government has concluded, and is expected to call asylum
seekers, staff from G4S - the company that has been running the centre -
and the Salvation Army, Papua New Guinean police and Australian
Witnesses would have parliamentary privilege to speak openly
and not be bound by confidentiality terms in their employment contracts,
Senator Hanson-Young said.
''It is very clear that a lot of people who have witnessed
what happened and want to speak out, but are scared of their
confidentiality agreements and intimidated by the department,'' she told
''I spoke to an interpreter today who has been receiving phone calls from the department threatening her if she says anything.''
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/parliament-to-probe-manus-island-riot-20140304-345bo.html#ixzz2v1a2z1Yt