October 31, 2022

SUBJECT | ISIS Brides/ Netball Australia | 21 October 2022

RAY HADLEY: The Shadow Minister of Immigration and Citizenship is on the line. G’day, Dan.

DAN TEHAN: Hi Ray, how are you?

HADLEY: Well, I’m getting an ulcer trying to find out where these people are. No one will tell us first of all; we had Paul Toole saying he didn't know, Then the Premier saying they did not, but they couldn’t tell us. But I can tell you one thing; they won't be in the Wentworth electorate; they won't be Zali Stegall’s electorate. They'll be somewhere west of the Gladesville Bridge, probably somewhere west of Parramatta. I can assure you of that.

DAN TEHAN: The secrecy with which this has been handled, Ray, has been deplorable. The Australian people need answers from the Albanese Labor government, and they're not getting it. And we know, obviously, where there's secrecy, where there's a lack of transparency, the government isn't being upfront. And nowhere are they answering the questions that need to be answered with regards to these returnees of these ISIS brides.

HADLEY: It’s not good for them just simply saying when they returned, ‘oh, we're very sorry'. Australians. were murdered. Australians lost their lives at the hands of these murderous bastards. Now they're all, well, not all of them, some of them are saying, ‘oh, we didn't want to go, our husbands made us’, but some of them went there willingly. They were part of the terror cell and supported their husbands to an extent. Now no blame can be attributed to children either who went there or have been born there since; who is the father? We’d be buggered if we know. But surely to goodness it doesn't pass the pub test to simply come back and say, ‘oh, we're sorry’, everything's hunky dory.

TEHAN: No, it doesn’t, and there's real concerns because further ISIS brides, prior to the scheduled to return, one of them lost their citizenship, so they've obviously done some very bad things to lose their citizenship. So, we need answers around that. We've put major pieces of national security legislation through the parliament to stop people going, so if they’ve been to declared areas, they've broken the law. So, are they going to be arrested and charged for breaking Australian law now that they've returned? We're hearing nothing about any of this. And the poor people who fled Syria to get away from the deplorable actions of ISIS are now confronted with potential members of ISIS back in the community. There are a lot of answers that we need in this situation.

HADLEY: You imagine the people you're talking about are residents of round Southwestern Sydney, Fairfield if you like, areas around there, Fairfield, Cabramatta, Liverpool, and it would be most unfortunate if they put them out there. Well, as I said, they won't be at Vaucluse,  they won’t be at Point Piper, they won't be at, you know, Warringah, but they may well be in the area where these people are.

TEHAN: That’s absolutely right, and no one knows. And that's where this lack of lack of transparency and the lack of answers really hits hard because the Australian citizens are sort of left with having no idea as to what their government is doing, and the government is not being transparent. I said last week that I'd heard that they would try and undertake these returnees, bringing them back to Australia between the budget and Melbourne Cup, because they wanted to try and do it when everyone's attention was elsewhere. That's exactly what has happened. But we will keep asking serious questions of the government, as I know you will until we get the answers because it's hard to say that this action has in any way made our community safer. I think it's the exact opposite.

HADLEY: Now, given your home state has just announced that they'll be sponsoring the Netball Australia side with a logo on it, and all the grand finals and major matches are going to be played down there, I've just had a thought from a listener, and maybe you could help me because you know more about the history of Victorian politics. Do you reckon they might be able to find someone in the Victorian Labor Party that said something really offensive about people in the last 40 or 50 years?

TEHAN: I'm sure they would be. I'm sure they would be, and then the Andrews government will have to work out whether they want to continue to keep their sponsorship or not because Netball Australia, or some of the netballers, might have something to say. But the other point, Ray, is debt in Victoria equals that of Tasmania, New South Wales, and Queensland combined. And here they are, spending another $15 million on this. So they're putting Victorians further into debt. We've got a public health system which is collapsing, we've got a road network that is collapsing, and here they are making a decision like this when this money needs to be put into the services that Victorians need.

HADLEY: Just finally back to the ISIS brides. It was published over the course of the weekend; in fact, I think it may have been online late on Friday that someone had leaked to The Australian that Victoria, none of the Victorian ISIS brides would be returning; they’d only come to Sydney. Are you suspicious that this ties in with an election in your home state as well?

TEHAN: Absolutely, and it clearly shows that the Albanese government is playing politics because they haven't made any decisions around returning ISIS brides to Victoria, and it's very clear that they won't do so until after the Victorian election. Yet they were prepared to bring the first group of ISIS brides back to New South Wales, and once again, they need to answer the question as to why there haven't been returnees brought to Victoria because it is clear that they have waited until -they're going to wait until after the Victorian state election. My understanding is the Victorian bureaucrats are on a go slow to make sure that nothing occurs until after the Victorian State election, and the Albanese Labor government have been fine to go along with that and instead have said right, we're going to put the focus on New South Wales.

HADLEY: Okay, thanks for your time. Appreciate it.

Media contact | Cate Mercer-Grant 0408 564 232