Stefanovic pins Pyne: ‘Do you have any humanity?’
FOR the second day in a row, Karl Stefanovic has taken aim at an Australian politician, asking Defence Minister Christopher Pyne if he has "any humanity at all".
In a frank interview yesterday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull fired up at Stefanovic after he said the leader was "waffling" about his handling of the never-ending citizenship debacle.
Today was Mr Pyne's turn, with Stefanovic taking the minister to task on the government's handling of refugees on Manus Island.
The Manus Island Detention Centre was officially closed nine days ago with the Australian government cutting all water, electricity and supplies to the centre. 580 male refugees have refused to leave, fearing for the safety, and are holed up inside.
New footage from the centre, obtained by news.com.au and filmed by the activist group Get Up, has revealed the squalid conditions the men are living in.
Wheelie bins have been placed in the ground as temporary wells. Rooms are crowded with bunks and the showers and toilets are covered in green mould.
The Today show ran the harrowing footage before its interview, starting with Stefanovic asking Mr Pyne if he was "disturbed" by the video.
"Well, Manus Island is closed Karl. All those people in Manus Island who are at that detention centre are effectively squatting there," he said.
The Australian and Papua New Guinea governments want the men to move to new facilities in Lorengau. However, the men fear they'll be attacked by locals.
Pictures taken by The Australianearlier this week also revealed the new facilities, which the government reportedly spent $30 million on, have incomplete sewage works and the buildings are still unsecured with workers still completing the fencing.
"Activists in Australia telling them to stay there and that they will get to Australia are lying to them and that is unfortunately the situation. They have put themselves in it," Mr Pyne added.
When Stefanovic told the minister of the refugees fears, Mr Pyne said the government's message was clear.
"The message from the government is very clear. Anyone who has come via people smugglers will not end up in Australia."
And that's when Karl asked the minister, "Do you have any sense of humanity?
"Of course Karl, and I'm very sorry for those people," Mr Pyne replied.
"It doesn't sound like it this morning," Karl snapped back.
Also on hand to answer questions was Anthony Albanese, the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Tourism.
"Anthony, these people, they could move. They fear for their own safety. The PNG authorities may well go in in the next couple of days and forcefully remove them. That has disaster written all over it. Will you support that move?" Stefanovic asked him.
"The fact is Manus Island was supposed to be a processing centre. Instead it has become a place of indefinite detention. It is no wonder you have this frustration after years of indefinite detention, which for many of these people they don't see hope in terms of a place of settlement in a third country. The government looks at these people and does not see human beings deserving respect, they see a political opportunity and they have left them there for year after year," the minister said.
"New Zealand have made an offer and the government rejected it. They would rather have this stand-off and it is time that the politics ended," Mr Albanese added.
The escalating Manus Island situation comes a day after the UN Human Rights Committee released a report slamming Australia's refugee and migration laws.
The committee, which comprises 18 independent experts and monitors countries' compliance with a global human rights treaty, says Australia should come back in one year to explain what action it has taken to meet its concerns.