House debates

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Questions without Notice

National Security

2:43 pm

Photo of Jason WoodJason Wood (La Trobe, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Home Affairs.

Ms Plibersek interjecting

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for Sydney is warned.

Photo of Jason WoodJason Wood (La Trobe, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Will the minister update the House on the importance of a strong, united and consistent approach to border protection? Is the minister aware of any risks to the integrity of Australia's borders?

2:44 pm

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

I thank the honourable member for his question and the hard work he's doing in Victoria representing the people of his electorate, particularly in relation to those people who are here on visas committing crimes against Australian citizens. The member for La Trobe has worked really hard to make his community a safer place by cancelling those visas of criminals in our country, and he should be applauded for that.

This morning in one of Australia's great daily publications, The Courier-Mail, there was a poll that demonstrated to us that in the seat of Longman less than one in three people believe that the Labor Party is capable of protecting our borders and keeping our country safe. That should come as no surprise to anyone who has watched recent history in this country. People don't forget the fact that the Leader of the Opposition was a cabinet minister in the glorious years of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd period, when 50,000 people came on 800 boats, and, tragically, 1,200 people drowned at sea.

I noticed something that also needs to be recorded, because it is a fact in history. Not to contradict the Prime Minister about the shadow Treasurer in relation to his new title, but he hasn't always been in favour of making big businesses small. There was a period in his distinguished parliamentary career where he was adamant about making small businesses big—but not in our country. He was a champion of the people smuggling business in Indonesia. When he was the immigration minister in the glory years of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd period, he presided over 398 boat arrivals. 25,092 people arrived on his watch and we know that, tragically, he put 4,200 children into detention.

If that wasn't bad enough, the Labor Party want do it again. If you're in Longman, Braddon or Mayo, you have an opportunity at the end of July to send a very clear message to the Leader of the Opposition and to the Labor Party that you do not want a return to that dysfunctional period when Labor and the government of Australia lost control of our borders. We cannot afford, in this day and age, to lose control of our borders again. The people in Longman know that they have, in Trevor Ruthenberg, a man who will stand up to people smugglers. Big Trev is a champion of Longman. He is going to be a great member for Longman, and I'm confident that he and many others will realise that we cannot afford a return of the Labor Party, because it would see a return of people smugglers in this country.