House debates

Monday, 3 June 2013


National Security

3:23 pm

Photo of Brendan O'ConnorBrendan O'Connor (Gorton, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship) Share this | Hansard source

I oppose the motion because, clearly, the opposition are entirely disingenuous when it comes to this issue. They do not seek to find a compact with the government on national security matters. They have always sought to object and oppose anything that might reduce the chances of people endangering their lives at sea. They have always sought to get in the way of policies as recommended by experts which would see a reduction of vessels arriving in our waters. They have done that for political purposes. They have done it with a disregard for the men, women and children on those vessels, and they have done it with a disregard for our men and women on Customs and Naval boats that go out each and every day to interdict and stop those vessels. This disregard for our personnel is outrageous.

On top of all of that, if they think they are going to cut the Public Service by the thousands and not cut the staff of ASIO, the Australian Federal Police and Customs and Border Protection then they are kidding themselves. On one hand they have made it clear they are going to cut public servants; on the other they are trying to pretend that they will ensure those agencies will continue to have the resources they have now. They will not. If we want to talk about undermining national security, if the Abbott government were ever elected and Mr Abbott ever became leader he would be cutting the staff in ASIO, in the Australian Federal Police, in Customs and Border Protection and, indeed, in the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. I oppose this motion because it is put up deliberately to cause concern within our society and to create fear within our community.


No comments