Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Dutton Turns Up Refugee Heat; PM Backs 'Illiterate' Asylum Seeker Remarks as Shorten Invokes Pauline Hanson's Image

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Dutton Turns Up Refugee Heat; PM Backs 'Illiterate' Asylum Seeker Remarks as Shorten Invokes Pauline Hanson's Image

Article excerpt

Byline: Daniel Burdon ARM Newsdesk

THE Prime Minister and a prominent Queensland LNP senator have defended Immigration Minister Peter Dutton's comment that expanding Australia's refugee intake could lead to "illiterate" asylum seekers taking Australian jobs.

The comment, made by Mr Dutton, in an interview on Sky News late on Tuesday, dominated political debate on the campaign trail yesterday.

He said many people seeking refugee status would not be "numerate or literate in their own language, let alone English" and they "would be taking Australian jobs, there's no question about that".

Mr Dutton told Sky News that while some would take Australian jobs, many would also "languish in unemployment queues and on Medicare and the rest of it".

The PM endorsed Mr Dutton's comments, saying he was an "outstanding" Immigration Minister.

Mr Turnbull said he agreed many refugees might not have completed high school and "large percentages of them have no English skills at all". …

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