A Labor MP has erected a billboard in St Kilda in Melbourne’s south-east that suggests the federal government is kowtowing to the hardline Iranian government.
The billboard which features the foreign minister Julia Bishop was erected by Labor MP Michael Dansby and infers that the federal government is cosying-up to Tehran as it wants them to take back a number of Iranians who arrived as refugees but have had their applications denied.
Iran says it will not take back any asylum seekers if they do not want to return voluntarily. This has created a problem for the federal government who can’t deport people who are technically stateless.
Dansby has attacked the federal government for its “slide towards appeasement of the hard line, bellicose regimen in Tehran”.
However, Julia Bishop has responded claiming the whole asylum seeker mess was all the work of the former Labor government.
“The only matter I am discussing with Iran is the failure of the previous Labor government’s border protection policies which led to an unprecedented number of Iranians seeking to come to Australia and are currently in detention centres,” she said. “Michael Danby was a member of that government. He is completely misguided and I find his intervention nakedly political.”