Minister denounces MP’s ‘close our borders’ call

The Government does not share Coffs MP Andrew Fraser's views on refugees.
The Government does not share Coffs MP Andrew Fraser's views on refugees. Leigh Jensen

THE NSW Government has distanced itself from Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser's call for Australia to turn back refugees because it did not need more "Middle Eastern refugees or Islamic boat people".

The Nationals MP called for Australia to "close our borders (because) we have enough anarchists already resident in Australia" in an open message to Malcolm Turnbull on Facebook after the Paris attacks.

Minister for Multiculturalism John Ajaka told parliament the government did not share Mr Fraser's views.

"I state at the outset that I do not agree with the member for Coffs Harbour," he said.

"I do not agree with his statement in any way whatsoever."

Mr Ajaka, whose parents emigrated from Lebanon in the 1950s, said plans to resettle refugees on the Mid North Coast had not changed.

"The Premier appointed the former head of the public service, Dr Peter Shergold, as the NSW coordinator general for refugee resettlement," he said.

"To make it very clear, any comment by Andrew Fraser makes no difference whatsoever to the work being undertaken by Peter Shergold and all of the NSW government agencies, including my agency, Multicultural NSW."

The state's first Muslim member of parliament, Labor's Jihad Dib, denounced IS's terrorist attacks in Paris.

But he said they were not cause to block asylum seekers from finding safety in Australia.

"I cannot hide the fact that I was bitterly disappointed to see over the weekend and then yesterday, calls from members of this parliament to close our borders and stop refugees coming into our country," he said.

"It is a knee-jerk reaction at complete odds with the leadership of our state and nation.

"Worse still, those comments have the strong potential to make matters worse - to demonise and isolate whole communities, not improve the situation."


Topics:  andrew fraser daesh immigration is isis islamic state nsw politics paris attacks refugees syria conflict terrorism

Ladies to hang ten together with event's return

Big Wave surfer Felicity Palmateer said the Surf Dive 'N Ski Girls Go Surfing Day would be a great opportunity for all ages.

Girls Go Surfing to return for the first time since 2013

Tweed Link is now available

The Tweed Link is now available in the Wednesday community edition of the Tweed Daily News.

Read everything in the Tweed Link here.

Surf warning continues for Tweed Coast

TAKE CARE: A lifeguard watches over surfers taking advantage of the massive swell at Snapper Rocks. While conditions are expected to subside this week, beachgoers are still urged to exercise caution.

Beaches were closed over the weekend due to swell.

Local Partners