Election is Happening Soon, Rudd’s PNG Asylum Seeker Plan Misleading – Tony Abbott
By Athena Yenko | July 22, 2013 4:31 PM EST
Opposition Leader Tony Abbot thinks that the election ought to happen sooner than expected, the Australian Associated Press (AAP) reports.
Mr Abbott told the press in Melbourne on Monday, July 22, 2013, that he "can certainly hear the drum beating."
Mr Abbott's basis for thinking this was because an August 24, 2013 poll had already been ruled out and Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has no plans to visit the governor-general.
According to Mr Abbott, "I expect Mr Rudd to go to the polls as soon as he possibly can because plainly the things that Mr Rudd has been doing over the last few weeks have no real substance."
However, in a separate report from AAP, Mr Albanese said that as far as the election is concern, people should just "chill out."
Opposition frontbencher Christopher Pyne, on the other hand, told Sky News that announcement is imminent, "I think they'll go to the polls as soon as possible because the longer Kevin Rudd remains in office the more obvious it will become that he's all talk and no action and you can't rely on his word."
Meanwhile, Mr Abbott continues to attack on Mr Rudd as he commented that Mr Rudd's policy on asylum seeker in Papua New Guinea (PNG) is misleading.
He said that the PNG asylum seeker plan is "held together with Blu Tack and sticky tape... this particular deal is unraveling before our eyes. It's not legally binding and it does not say what Mr Rudd says it says. It doesn't say that everyone who comes to Australia illegally by boat will go to PNG and it doesn't say that no one who goes to PNG will ever come to Australia."
"Mr Rudd is being misleading to the point of dishonesty."
"The overwhelming majority of the people who are coming to our country illegally by boat have come via other countries where they could really have claimed asylum. The fact that they are determined not to stop until they come to Australia means that they are overwhelmingly economic migrants not genuine asylum seekers."
"This is the point that it's taken this government five years to understand."
However, Immigration Minister Tony Burke said that the opposition's response to the plan was extraordinary.
In an interview with ABC News, Mr Burke said, "I could not believe the way he and his (immigration spokesman) Scott Morrision stood up and tried to send a message out to Australia and, therefore, to the people involved in these operations that it is still okay to come. If people take Tony Abbott at his word and decide to test our resolve, they will find out that we are resolved to follow through on this policy."
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