House debates

Monday, 10 September 2018

Questions without Notice

National Security

2:35 pm

Photo of Lucy WicksLucy Wicks (Robertson, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Home Affairs. Will the minister update the House on steps the government is taking to keep Australian families safe? How would different ideas make our communities less secure?

Photo of Peter DuttonPeter Dutton (Dickson, Liberal Party, Minister for Home Affairs) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the honourable member for her question. The Morrison government is absolutely committed to keeping our borders secure and to keeping our Australian community safe. Under this government, we have cleaned up Labor's mess. We know that 50,000 people arrived on 800 boats and we know that 1,200 people tragically drowned at sea and that Labor and the Greens, when they were in government together, put 8,000 children into detention. We've got those children out of detention. We have closed 17 detention centres. We have provided support to people who are genuinely in need of protection from a country like ours. Last year we brought in more people under the refugee and humanitarian program than any year in the last three decades, and we have done that because we have a well-managed border protection program.

As Australians realise, the people smugglers have not gone away. We've spoken a lot about it over a long period of time. The people smugglers are still in Indonesia, in Sri Lanka, in Vietnam, across the Middle East and elsewhere around the world, seeking to take money from innocent men, women and children to put them onto boats to come to this country. We did see an arrival of a vessel, which was flagged out of Vietnam holding 17 people, land in the Daintree. I inform the House that the 17 people on that vessel have now been returned back to Vietnam. We have dealt with the issue. We have surged our naval assets and we have surged our assets in terms of aerial surveillance as well. This government will do whatever we need to do to stop those boats and to make sure that we don't see women and children drowning at sea again, like they did when Labor was last in government and like they would do again if Labor were elected at the next election—because they have learned nothing at all from the past.

At the same time that we've done all of that, we have been reassured of the steps the government have taken to cancel visas in relation to criminals and, in particular, to outlaw motorcycle gang members. I can update the House that we have cancelled the visas of 194 outlaw motorcycle gang members, who are the biggest distributors of amphetamine and ice in communities across the country. The ACIC predicts that that has saved 1,000 Australians from falling victim to members of outlaw motorcycle gangs. Not only are they big distributors of drugs but they are also in lock step with the CFMEU and other organised criminal organisations who are involved in extortion and assaults—all sorts of criminal activity that you would expect from the CFMEU. Seventy-five of them have been charged in relation to these matters. This government will keep our borders secure and we will keep Australians safe. (Time expired)

Mr Rob Mitchell interjecting

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

The member for McEwen will cease interjecting.