FORMER immigration minister Kevin Andrews instructed his department to lift the intake of Christian refugees from the Middle East in response to what he saw as a pro-Muslim bias created by corrupt local case officers.
Mr Andrews was so concerned about the extent of corruption in Middle Eastern posts - despite the allegations being investigated and dismissed by his own department - that he wrote to then prime minister John Howard advocating a $200 million plan to replace local employees with Australian staff in 10 "sensitive" countries, including Jordan, Iran and Egypt.
Opposition immigration spokesman Chris Ellison said yesterday this remained Coalition policy.
"We do not want discrimination or bias occurring ... and that's why I believe it is appropriate that our sensitive overseas posts, such as those in the Middle East, are staffed by Australians," Senator Ellison said.
I don't see anything wrong with this policy.