Tuesday, 10 September 2019
Questions without Notice
I thank the honourable member for his question. This government certainly are very proud of the fact that we've been able to stop deaths at sea, we've been able to get the children out of detention that Labor put into detention and we have a very stable and certain policy offering when it comes to national security and border protection. But, as it turns out, that's not the case on the Labor side of this parliament. I'm not often found in this place quoting James Campbell, but he published an interesting article on 4 September. It went something like this—it's content rich; maybe we'll come back to it again, but in the time limit we have today I'll just quote part of it—'Kristina Keneally thinks she is on a winner by attacking border protection policies, but political history dictates that she is so, so wrong.' He says, 'Let's hear it for Shayne Neumann, a man whose political judgement looks better every day that passes.'
The minister will listen to the problem I have with his answer. Whilst he's given many answers like this, they've been to questions that have had the tagline, 'Are there any alternative policies?' This question did not ask that, so at the moment he is out of order. The question was about the government's policy of delivering stability and certainty. It did not mention any alternative policies.
The minister will resume his seat. I've made this clear on a number of occasions. There have been hundreds of questions that have asked about alternative policies. It's not up to me to modify the questions. The minister will not go to alternative policies, because he was not asked about them. If he wants to be asked about alternative policies in a different question, he can.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. It's very important advice, and I'm very happy to return to this topic tomorrow, the day after and many days after that. At the election the Australian public voted for this government because we keep our borders secure and we keep our promises with the Australian public. We aren't all over the place on border protection and national security. We have delivered strong border security, and we will not allow a return to days—we will never adopt a policy that allows people to drown at sea. We will never adopt a policy that sees children back in detention, and this government will not adopt a policy where we allow the people smugglers to get back in control. At the last election, when the Australian public looked at this government, they saw something which they believed was an essential ingredient in leadership demonstrated by the Prime Minister—that is, that we will bring people into this country the right way, but we will not allow people to hop on boats and come to our country. We've been very clear about it. We can be compassionate, because we will bring this year 18,750 people into our country under the humanitarian and refugee program, but we will not allow them to come by boat. We won't allow them to come by boat, and we will not allow a situation, again, where this country loses control of its borders.