House debates

Monday, 19 June 2017

Questions without Notice

National Security

2:58 pm

Photo of Peter DuttonPeter Dutton (Dickson, Liberal Party, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection) Share this | Hansard source

I want to thank the member for Petrie very much for his question. He, like all of us on this side of the parliament, wants to make sure that we have secure borders in this country because, as all Australians know, if you cannot secure your borders you cannot provide national security, particularly in the current age. We have made some changes. We made an announcement only a month ago in relation to strengthening the arrangements with regard to Australian citizenship. There are some five million people who have become Australian citizens since 1949 and we are a great country today because of that. But we want to make sure that people who are becoming Australian citizens are people who deserve to become Australian citizens. As we are seeing around the world at the moment, it is important for sovereign nations to get it right when it comes to Australian citizenship. Is it any wonder that under the Leader of the Opposition—

Mr Shorten interjecting

It is you again. Yes, it is. It is you again. This Leader of the Opposition has no ability to pull those behind him into line when it comes to border protection, national security and citizenship changes because his party is divided right down the middle. The fact is, as all Australians know, as we move around the country, this Leader of the Opposition has a problem with the public, and the public has a problem with him. As you go and speak to people around the country, they know that there is something that is not quite right about this Leader of the Opposition. They know that in their heads there is a great hesitation around this Leader of the Opposition. He says one thing to one audience and something completely different to the next audience, and the Australian public get it when it comes to this Leader of the Opposition. They have a doubt in their minds about whether or not he is the real deal. We saw it at the national conference when he was out telling the Left one thing on borders and telling the Right something completely different.

It is the case that he is taking exactly the same approach when it comes to citizenship. Members on this side of the parliament supported tough measures when it came to protecting our borders. It has meant that we have stopped the mess that Labor created. It has meant that we have turned around 30 boats since Operation Sovereign Borders commenced, and the Australian public trust this side. They trust the Turnbull government when it comes to border protection and when it comes to making sure that we can get national security right, but the Australian public has this Leader of the Opposition pegged. They know that he is saying one thing in Sydney and something very different in Melbourne, and the Australian public have caught this Leader of the Opposition out and, frankly, many of those behind him know exactly what I am talking about. This duplicitous Leader of the Opposition cannot lie straight in bed.

Comments

Tibor Majlath
Posted on 20 Jun 2017 4:39 pm (Report this comment)

The Minister says "There are some five million people who have become Australian citizens since 1949 and we are a great country today because of that."

Wonder how many of the five million who made this a great country today would have never been allowed to become Australian citizens because of the strict language requirements proposed by the Minister now?

A foreign language is not something one picks up overnight while fleeing wars and repression. Sometimes it takes the second generation to speak the local tongue fluently.

But then what does someone who never had to flee know of such things.

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