House debates

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Questions without Notice


2:59 pm

Photo of Bill ShortenBill Shorten (Maribyrnong, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. Is the Prime Minister aware of reports that Indonesia is reconsidering its trade deal with Australia as a result of the Prime Minister's rushed announcement today? How many jobs could be at risk as a result of today's 'foreign policy on the run' announcement about moving the embassy?

3:00 pm

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

It may not be known to the Leader of the Opposition but I've been in direct contact with President Widodo over the course of last night and through this morning, as has the Minister for Foreign Affairs been in direct contact with the Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs. This is all part of our regular management of these relationships. I've been pleased to be able to explain very clearly the nature of the announcements I've made today, and I've been very pleased with the response I've received from President Widodo. We will continue to work closely and cooperatively with our allies and with our partners all around the world on these issues. What I'm looking forward to over the next few months as we go through the summit season is canvassing these ideas with other leaders to gain their views before the government forms a particular view on this issue. That is actually how you make decisions. You consult with your friends, with your neighbours, with your allies. You commence a process. You don't unilaterally make this decision. We have commenced this process. We are doing it in good faith. We are open to the possibilities of what can be achieved.

But what this shows, given the way the leader of the Labor Party has sought to undermine the announcements that have been made today, and to scaremonger on this issue, is the recklessness with which he would adopt a policy in government. In 2007, if I'd gone and knocked on someone's door and said to them, 'If you elect the Labor Party 1,200 people will die at sea, 50,000 people will turn up on 800 boats, they'll implement policies that set fire to people's roofs, they'll ensure that the budget goes into deep deficit and the debt will go off the charts,' people would have locked me up. I heard the Leader of the Opposition saying, 'The chicken won't lay eggs,' and all the rest of it. The last Labor government the people of Australia elected made a complete hash of it, and the Australian people will not forget that.