House debates

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Questions without Notice

National Security

2:25 pm

Photo of Andrew HastieAndrew Hastie (Canning, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Home Affairs. Will the minister update the House on the success of Australia's certain and stable border protection measures, and is the minister aware of any alternative approaches that might put our borders at risk?

2:26 pm

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

I thank the honourable member for his question. All Australians know that this government has a stable and certain policy when it comes to our border security, and so it must be. We cannot allow people smugglers to get in control of our borders again, like they did when the Labor Party was in government. Why is that relevant? Because 1,200 people drowned at sea, thousands of children were put into detention, and the reality is that Labor would repeat all of those mistakes again if they were to be elected into this parliament. When I'm asked about whether or not there are other approaches, I am reminded of a very informative article from the very well-connected James Campbell. Mr Campbell, as you know, wrote an article on 4 September—he is very well-connected to people within the Labor Party, I understand.

Opposition Members:

Opposition members interjecting

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

Lots of connections there. Lots of information flows. Let me just remind you of what he said in his article, because it's interesting when we talk about the Labor Party position. He said, 'Kristina Keneally thinks she's on a winner by attacking border protection policies, but political history dictates she is so, so wrong.' He goes on to say, 'Anthony Albanese, of course, came to the leadership having voted against the motion at Labor's national conference that gave the party's blessing to the Abbott government's policy of turning back boats at sea.' He goes on with some very well-informed comments in relation to Ms Keneally. I don't know why the member for Maribyrnong is looking away as I'm mentioning this—but I don't know if he knows anything about this article.

Opposition members interjecting

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

The member for Moreton!

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

I'm not sure whether he knows anything about this backgrounding. He can make his own comments. Mr Campbell goes on to say:

It's all very odd. Especially as there is a huge question over the sincerity of her own boss's views on border protection.

It caused me to go back to have a look at the Leader of the Opposition's comments and his flip-flop positions when it comes to border protection. It was only back in 2013 that he said these very powerful words:

And the message is very clear: if you come to Australia by boat without a visa, you will not be settled in Australia.

He went on to say:

What that does is it breaks the model. That’s what we need to do.

That was from the Leader of the Opposition in July 2013. Fast forward two years and he says this:

I couldn't ask someone else to do something I couldn't see myself doing and if people were in a boat, including families and children, I myself couldn't turn that around.

That was when he was showing his compassionate side. So, he's got many sides, many faces, and if he doesn't know what he believes in himself, the Australian public shouldn't believe— (Time expired)