Plan to ban asylum seekers from ever entering Australia "ridiculous": opposition leader

2016-11-06 04:59:23 GMT2016-11-06 12:59:23(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

CANBERRA, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- Australia's opposition leader labelled a government proposal to ban asylum seekers who arrive from boat from ever entering the country as "ludicrous."

Bill Shorten, leader of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), said the plan was introduced by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to appease the conservative right-wing of the Liberal National Party (LNP).

The legislation would ban asylum seekers who have tried to enter Australia by boat since 19 July 2013 and had been sent to detention centers on Nauru or Manus Island from ever being allowed into Australia for any reason, including as a tourist, for business or as a spouse.

Shorten, who is expected to make a decision on whether his party would provide the support the bill needed to become law, said there was no sign Turnbull was working on a resettlement program for asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island.

"On its face, the idea you will deter people smugglers by saying a genuine refugee who becomes a citizen of another country couldn't visit in Australia in 2056 - it's just ridiculous," Shorten told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Sunday.

"We see no signs that the government has got any resettlement plans to conclude. I thought maybe this might be part of an architecture of a bigger, but they've rushed out and denied that."

Possible resettlement locations which have been considered include Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and central America.