25 Jun 2015

Australian govt faces inquiry into "bribe" payments

10:30 am on 25 June 2015

The Senate has voted to establish a parliamentary inquiry into payments made by Australian government officials to boat crew members and people traffickers.

The inquiry was moved by the Greens after the Australian government refused to comply with an Order to Produce Documents and will report back to the Senate in September.

Greens Immigration Spokesperson Sarah Hanson-Young says the Government's refusal to be straight with the public or the parliament about bribes paid to people smugglers is a disgrace and will now be challenged through this Inquiry.

Senator Hanson-Young says the public has a right to know what has occurred, how much money was paid to traffickers and who authorised it.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young Photo: AFP

She says this is Australian taxpayers money and claims from the Prime Minister that it should all be kept secret is arrogant and dangerous.

She says the Senate has rejected the Governments claims of public immunity, knowing that the public deserves the truth.

Senator Hanson-Young says people trafficking is one of the most serious transnational crimes and would represent a new low for the Australian government if it is found it had engaged in this.