Govt sounds out churches on housing asylum seekers
The Federal Opposition says the Government is scrambling on its asylum seeker policy by approaching church groups to help house women and children asylum seekers from Christmas Island.
The Government says it is investigating a range of private properties around Australia, including some owned by churches, as part of "routine and prudent" contingency planning.
A spokesman for Immigration Minister Chris Evans says no decision has been made to use any private or church facility as detention accommodation.
But Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison says the move is further evidence of the Government's policy failures.
"With this Government contingencies usually quickly become policies because of the rate of arrivals," Mr Morrison said.
"That's why I raise the question, what next after that? The boats aren't stopping, Kevin Rudd's policies are not going to stop the boats.
"Christmas Island is once again at the brink. People are being flown around the country at a cost [for] charter flights of $83,400 a flight.
"We've got people again in motels, we've got now the Government looking around the accommodation in hostels and what's next? Granny flats and billeting people out?"