House debates

Thursday, 1 November 2012

10:07 am

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship) Share this | | Hansard source

Mr Deputy Speaker, I seek leave to make a personal explanation.

Photo of Steve GeorganasSteve Georganas (Hindmarsh, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Leave is granted.

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship) Share this | | Hansard source

Last night Mr Graham Richardson made accusations that I had misrepresented the coalition's policy on the annual refugee and humanitarian intake in our interview the previous week. This is completely false and betrays a lack of understanding of the events and the issues that were the subject of our interview and this debate.

The coalition has not made any response to the Houston panel recommendations regarding the proposal to increase the refugee and humanitarian intake to 20,000 people per year, which was the subject of the question he raised in the interview of the previous week. The statement I made to Mr Richardson regarding the coalition's policy on the refugee and humanitarian intake was totally accurate, as the coalition has made no statement regarding the recommendation of the Houston panel on lifting the permanent intake. The coalition offer to increase the intake, referred to by Mr Richardson, was made in June 2012, before the Houston panel had even been established, and was a once-only offer to the Labor Party, the Greens and the Independents in order to break the legislative deadlock on the floor of the parliament at that time. This offer was rejected by Labor, the Greens and the Independents, and the—

Photo of Peter GarrettPeter Garrett (Kingsford Smith, Australian Labor Party, Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth) Share this | | Hansard source

Mr Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: I think that by way of making a personal explanation the member has had ample opportunity to correct the record.

Photo of Steve GeorganasSteve Georganas (Hindmarsh, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the minister. The member for Cook will sum up very quickly. He has—

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship) Share this | | Hansard source

I was just about to finish, and there is another item as well that I need refer to from another interview. As I said, the offer was rejected by Labor, the Greens and the Independents, and the coalition offer was terminated on that day after having been rejected. It is not coalition policy.

Photo of Steve GeorganasSteve Georganas (Hindmarsh, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for Cook has made his point and will resume his seat.

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship) Share this | | Hansard source

I have another matter I need to refer to where I have also been misrepresented, Mr Deputy Speaker, in another interview, and I seek leave to do that.

Photo of Steve GeorganasSteve Georganas (Hindmarsh, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I will allow that if the member goes directly to the point—

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship) Share this | | Hansard source

I will.

Photo of Steve GeorganasSteve Georganas (Hindmarsh, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

and shows where he was misrepresented.

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship) Share this | | Hansard source

Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. Last night on Lateline, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, in an interview with Tony Jones in relation to the government's no advantage policy, when he was asked by Mr Jones, 'Are you saying five years?' responded:

Well I'm not the one who said there's a minimum five-year period in place. That's what Mr Morrison has said.

That is what was said by the minister last night. That is a false claim.

Photo of Steve GeorganasSteve Georganas (Hindmarsh, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Cook.

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship) Share this | | Hansard source

If I can finish, Mr Deputy Speaker: as the minister—

Photo of Steve GeorganasSteve Georganas (Hindmarsh, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for Cook will resume his seat and has made his point.

Mr Morrison interjecting

The member will resume his seat. He has made his point about where he was misrepresented.