House debates

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Questions without Notice

Asylum Seekers

2:30 pm

Photo of Wayne SwanWayne Swan (Lilley, Australian Labor Party, Treasurer) Share this | Hansard source

Since May 2011 they have refused to support proposals from this government for regional processing and regional arrangements. Sadly, more boats are coming and, sadly, more people are drowning. We ought to pause there and think about our responsibility as a parliament to put in place the full range and suite of policies which can stop these boats coming and which can deal effectively with the people smugglers.

To that end, in a responsible way, we commissioned the report from Mr Houston and his committee as to a range of proposals which needed to be implemented. The key part of that is regional processing, which was once again rejected by those opposite. They say openly to the public that they support a regional solution and they actively vote against it in the parliament. How can anybody take that mob over there seriously, particularly when their public position has now been repudiated by the Indonesian ambassador and by the Vice-President of Indonesia?

This sort of crude politicking is repugnant. The fact is that we need to put in place a regional solution to deal with the people-smuggling model. We have been frustrated at every part of the evolution of this saga by those opposite, who will not come to the party and who are being negative, just as they are always being negative about everything in this parliament. Their refusal to support regional arrangements just shows how unfit they are for high office.


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