Federal Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has shut down a call from a New South Wales State Government MP for Australia to stop accepting Middle Eastern refugees.
In the wake of the terror attacks in Paris, Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser wrote a “message to Malcolm Turnbull” on social media on Monday.
“Australia does not need Middle Eastern refugees or Islamic boat people!” Mr Fraser wrote on Facebook.
“Close our borders we have enough anarchists already resident in Australia …we do not need any more coming in disguised as refugees.”
Over the weekend it has emerged that a passport found at the scene of one of the Paris attacks was issued to a Syrian asylum seeker.
Australia is preparing to accept 12,000 refugees from the conflict in Syria and Iraq.
Mr Dutton has been questioned about whether he is considering Mr Fraser’s call for that decision to be reversed.
“We are not,” he said.
“Australia obviously faces a very different situation than countries in Europe that have land borders.”
Mr Dutton maintains Australia can continue with existing border protection policies while being scrupulous in processing new applications.
“I think this just demonstrates why we do need a tough border setting but at the same time we can bring in people such as the Syrians that we are bringing in who are fleeing a murderous regime,” he said.
Mr Dutton has acknowledged there is a level of concern about whether people are falsifying their details to gain entry to Western countries.
“I was in Jordan only the week before last and there is a lot of talk there about false documents and false passports, and we need to make sure that we know who is coming to our country,” he said.
The Government is expecting the first refugees from the new intake to arrive before Christmas.
“Under no circumstances are we going to … compromise the security of our country,” Mr Dutton said.
“We want to make sure we know who is coming. We are not going to compromise on that.”
Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan backed that position.
“We’re going to have an orderly process I think, rightly, assisting people who have been affected by the humanitarian disaster that is Syria,” Mr Keenan said.
“The people that do come to Australia will be thoroughly vetted and scrutinised by our agencies to make sure that we wouldn’t let anyone into Australia that would pose a threat to us.”
New South Wales Premier Mike Baird has also rejected Mr Fraser’s comments.
“Of course there are concerns in terms of security checks and as you heard from the Federal Immigration Minister and the Prime Minister, they are taking those appropriate checks,” he said.
“I don’t think anyone should say we shouldn’t help someone in such need as those that are fleeing the sort of terror we’ve seen been wreaked upon them in their homeland.”