Mitch Fifield

National: Q&A Mitch Fifield says ‘Australia shares responsibility for Nauru’

Liberal frontbencher Mitch Fifield admits that Australia has a “shared responsibility” for the asylum seekers and refugees at Nauru detention centre in ABC show Q&A, Monday, August 22.

Fifield was responding to Tracey Donehue, a former teacher at Nauru Regional Processing Centre who asked about the responsibility of the Australian Government for asylum seekers, as witness accounts – including hers – of detainees’ mistreatments continue to be ignored.

Fifield suggested that the Federal Government has a responsibility to investigate incidents of abuse and assault on Nauru. “There wouldn’t be incident reports filed if they weren’t for the purpose of being investigated,” said Fifield.

Last month, government files leak revealed a wide range of abuse allegations, including assaults, sexual abuse, child abuse and poor living condition in the detention camp.

Liberal frontbencher and Immigration minister Peter Dutton said while the case would be investigated by Nauruan authorities, “some people do have a motivation to make a false complaint”.

“I have been made aware of some incidents that have reported false allegations of sexual assault because in the end, people have paid money to people smugglers and they want to come to our country,” Dutton told 2GB Radio.

“Some people have even gone to the extent of self-harming and people have self-immolated in an effort to get to Australia. Certainly, some have made false allegations.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the government will assess the information, while former immigration minister and current treasurer Scott Morrison claim the files should not be taken as fact. “It’s important to stress that incident reports of themselves aren’t a reporting of fact, they are reporting that an allegation has been made of a particular action,” Morrison said.