11 May 2006

Indonesia denies pressuring the Australian government over new migration bill

7:45 pm on 11 May 2006

The Indonesian government is denying that a Migration bill introduced into the Australian Parliament today comes as a result of Indonesian pressure.

The Australian government has introduced a bill that would see all future asylum seekers arriving by boat processed in detention centres offshore.

The legislation was developed after a group of Papuans arrived on the Australian mainland by canoe and were granted protection visas, creating tensions between Australia and Indonesia.

If passed, the new laws will be backdated to April 13th.

The Shadow Immigration Minister, Tony Burke says the bill is being introduced because of an attempt to appease Indonesia over the granting of asylum to the 42 people Papuans.

The First Secretary for Information at the Indonesian Embassy in Australia, Dino Kusnadi says the proposed change in legislation has not come as a result of Indonesian pressure.

"Indonesia contrary to what the media reports are saying, will not interfere in the domestic politics of Australia on how they conduct their regulations and rules. Some analysts say that it's because of Indonesia's pressure that Australia's legislations are changing but unfortunately Australia can adopt whatever rules that they wish to do so, without any pressure from Indonesia."