Shadow minister for Employment Michaelia Cash has urged for specific details to be released around the safety precautions for a group of women and children linked to Islamic State fighters landing in Australia.
The four women and their 13 children, who had been living inside the al-Roj camp since the fall of IS in 2019, arrived at Sydney airport on Saturday morning.
They are the first families to come home under a recent repatriation mission from Syrian refugee camps, where an additional 43 Australians will be returning from in the coming months.
The Coalition has been vehement in condemning the move by the Albanese government and flagged the potential security risk of bringing back children that might already be indoctrinated in Islam.
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Ms Cash spoke to Sky News Australia on Sunday and demanded that the Prime Minister “front” the Australian people and reveal the exact plans to keep them safe.
“These people understood they made a decision and the decision would have consequences,” she said.
“We need the prime minister … to front the Australian people… what security measures are they (Labor) now putting in place to ensure that at all times, at all times Australians are kept safe?
“These are people who have been living in a situation whereby they have associated with people who hate Australia. They hate our way of life. They have been associating with terrorists… who have committed atrocious, unspeakable, acts.”
The senator said if there is “any risk” to Australian people then the Prime Minister would have to take full responsibility.
However, the Albanese government has repeatedly defended the program and ensured Australians that their safety is paramount.
Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke told Channel Nine that there was a high level of supervision involved and the decision was made with “the best national security advice”.
“We need to remember the individuals we are talking about here are Australians,” he said.
“And you need to just make sure that you’re not taking risks, that there’s a high degree of supervision that happens.
“Everyone wants to make sure we take every precaution for people’s safety. The Government’s doing that.”
It is understood that the women who volunteered to come back to Australia have agreed to terrorism control measures such as ankle bracelets and monitoring to appease concerns of risk.
Upon arriving in Sydney they released a group statement expressing their gratitude for returning home and said they would cooperate with government authorities to ensure Australia’s safety.
“We are deeply thankful to be back home in Australia with our children,” the statement reads.
“We want to express our regret for the trouble and hurt we have caused, especially to our families. We are willing to do whatever is asked of us by the government authorities to ensure the safety of our families and the Australian community and we will fully cooperate with all Australian law enforcement agencies.
“Once our children have received medical treatment, are healthy, and are ready, we want to see them lead a normal and safe life in Australia, surrounded by friends and family. We also want to be able to contribute to the Australian community and are grateful for the opportunity to do so. “
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