Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown and Immigration spokesperson Sarah Hanson-Young today met with Immigration Secretary Andrew Metcalfe, department officials and Senator Kate Lundy.
"A robust discussion ensued," Senator Brown said in Canberra. "I explained that comments as reported had been very damaging."
While Mr Metcalfe asserted that he had been misrepresented by the media following his briefing with journalists on 7/09/2011, Senator Brown made it abundantly clear that his own comments still stand and did not resile from them. A reference to Europe was raised during the briefing on 7/09/2011.
"The Government requested the department to brief the media. This was unwise, particularly as it preceded the briefing with the Leader of the Opposition and, within days, the Government's policy announcement on plans to legislate to legalise offshore processing in Malaysia," Senator Brown said.
"The Government should desist in putting public servants in a situation which might be seen as part of a political strategy," Senator Brown said.