OPPOSITION immigration spokeswoman Sharman Stone has accused the UN agency responsible for refugees of corruption.
It’s another reason she is appealing for an urgent independent inquiry into Australia’s border protection laws.
“There needs to be a very serious look at the UNHCR and how it functions across the region,” she told ABC Radio.
“I am told by a number of my constituents that it in fact costs you more to bribe the UNHCR to look at your case and assess you for your asylum-seeking status than to pay a people-smuggler.
“It’s a well-known fact that in some UNHCR offices there is bribery and corruption.”
The federal Opposition believed a surge in arrivals of boats carrying suspected asylum seekers – including four boats this week – was because the Government had gone soft on border protection.
A review was urgently required, Dr Stone said.
Although she refused to outline what policy the Opposition might take on border protection, she did not rule out supporting the reintroduction of temporary protection visas.