Thursday, 21 February 2019
I get the interjection from the member for Blair that this is absolute rubbish. Now if he won't listen to the advice of security agencies when he's in opposition to protect our borders, what hope would we have that he'd listen to them if he were in government? This is a betrayal of the member for Blair. We don't know if he would be Minister for Home Affairs, because not even the leader of the Labor Party can express that confidence in the member for Blair in terms of what his job would be. But he's not prepared to listen to those agencies now. The Labor Party and the leader of the Labor Party are not prepared to listen to our security agencies now when it comes to protecting our borders. It was the Secretary of the Department of Home Affairs who said to the government after the bill was passed, 'you must now reopen the Christmas Island detention centre'.
Now we have the member for Blair saying that's the wrong thing to do. We had Senator Wong say it's the wrong thing to do. We had the leader of the Labor Party say it was a tactic one day and it was fine the next. And the member for Sydney still doesn't believe it's the right thing to do despite the fact that that advice has been made very clearly. So understand this: the reason why Labor were so hopeless on our borders was not just because they lack the will, it wasn't just that they didn't understand the consequences of their own divisions, it was not that they didn't understand that you have to deal with the world as it is, not as you'd like it to be, but because, when it comes to border protection, the Labor Party are hopelessly divided. They fought with themselves year after year on the issue of border protection, and minister after minister failed and failed. Let's not forget the tragic record of those ministers who were in that government who wish to now be ministers again in a new government. The member for Watson had over 4,000 people turn up in just one month. The shadow Treasurer had 25,000 people turn up on his watch. They cannot be trusted to make Australia stronger; they can only be relied on to make Australia weaker.