Wednesday, 20 February 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs. Will the minister update the House on the success of the government's border security policies? Is the minister aware of any alternative approaches to border protection that may jeopardise the sovereignty of Australia's borders?
I thank the member for her question. We know about Labor's law to end offshore processing that was so shamefully passed through the House last week. We know that under Labor 8,000 children were forcibly placed in detention—
Dr Mike Kelly interjecting—
It's true—8,000 children were forcibly placed in detention. That's what you did.
We know that under Labor, tragically, 1,200 people drowned at sea. Let's go through this law to end offshore processing, of which we learn more and more. The first thing is: we know that, under Labor, doctors don't have to be based in the same country as the patient; they could be in Dapto, Devonport or Dungog. A question for Labor: why?
We know that under Labor's law the people who are to be transferred don't even to have to be sick. The doctors merely have to state that they should come to Australia for an assessment. Why? Why is that in Labor's law?
We also know that under Labor's law the minister has no power to stop a referral unless someone is in breach of the ASIO Act or has been to jail for 12 months. That was Labor's amendment (14). They chose it. They actually wrote it down. They got out a pen and wrote down: 'Unless they've breached the ASIO Act or they've been in jail for 12 months they can come to Australia and there's nothing the government can do to stop it.' That's what the shadow minister did. That's what the opposition did.
They also say in their bill that one doctor can order an unlimited number of people—an unlimited number of people—to come to Australia and, unless the person is in breach of the ASIO Act or has been jailed for 12 months, there's nothing the government can do to stop it. It's extraordinary, and they must be accountable for all these questions.
And now, this morning, the shadow minister said the legislation applies to people currently in Manus and Nauru. It turns out that's wrong too, because in the legislation the Labor Party have defined what's known as a 'relevant transitory person'. That includes people who have already resettled in Papua New Guinea, who are not even on Manus Island. There are 58 people who have resettled in Papua New Guinea, who have been granted refugee visas by Papua New Guinea—who are not on Manus Island at all. Under this law, they can access the medical transfer provisions, and I am advised that they are already seeking to do so—58 people who are not on Manus Island at all. The shadow minister clearly does not understand the legislation which he so shamefully passed through this parliament. It just goes to show what happens when political opportunism trumps national security and sensible governance. It's a disgraceful— (Time expired)