Ipswich mayor angry at snub over asylum plan
Plans to house almost 500 asylum seekers in an Ipswich jail should be revealed to the local community, Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale said today.
He was responding to reports that Ipswich’s Borallon prison could house 492 asylum seekers by the end of the year.
Mr Pisasale said no-one had talked to him about the plan.
“The most important thing to me is that no one has spoken to myself, or spoken to a state member,” he said.
“If we’re going to do things like this, work with the community and we can get through it. But when you don’t work with the community, all people think is that there is something suspicious going on and everybody starts to be very cautious.”
Liberal National Party shadow minister for Corrective Services, John-Paul Langbroek, said it was a secret deal by the Bligh Labor government and a betrayal of the people of Ipswich.
“We think that Anna Bligh should be standing up against Canberra and saying no,” he said.
“We don’t want federal Labor and their problems with asylum seekers being translated to Queensland.”
A rooftop protest at the Christmas Island detention centre has been ongoing since Friday.
“When we look at the violence and the riots, the complaints about asylum seekers that are currently being housed in detention centres around Australia, (how they) are behaving because of their frustrations with the system… it’s obvious we don’t want those sort of situations happening near the southside of Brisbane, or the west side of Brisbane,” Mr Langbroek said.
Both state and federal governments said no decision has been made on the proposal.