Wednesday, 11 September 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Home Affairs. Will the Minister inform the House about how the Morrison government has implemented stable and certain policies on our borders? Are there any risks to alternative approaches?
I thank the honourable member for her question. It is true that the Australian public demand of their government certainty around national security providing protection to Australians. We can only do that if, indeed, we have secure borders. So the government has worked day and night to clean up Labor's mess—50,000 people who arrived on 800 boats. The Labor Party put people on Manus Island. They put people on Nauru. They put kids into detention. It has taken many billions of dollars and many years to clean up. You would have thought by now that the Labor Party had learnt their lesson. But, clearly, with the flip-flop approach of the Leader of the Opposition they have not. It is clear that, had the Labor Party been successful at the last election, even though the former leader of the Labor Party had a much tougher stance and a much more coherent policy proposal in relation to border protection policy—
I didn't say that at the time, as the member for Maribyrnong points out. I'm being generous to him now because—
Mr Albanese interjecting—
you are making him look very good. That's my point. That's my whole point. Come in sucker! You make him look like the dream leader. You don't stand for anything! And no wonder—
Ms Butler interjecting—
I was thinking that it was only the Leader of the Opposition who had an incoherent position on the Labor Party side when it comes to border protection. But, as it turns out—oh, he's a little sensitive!
Thank you, Mr Speaker, and I'm happy to answer it, because do you know what those visas were issued for? To get people out of detention that you put into detention. That's what I did. Ninety-five per cent of those cases were people that you put into detention. I got them out of detention and I gave them work rights as well—
I was drawn to some comments last week by the member for Watson, who doesn't have a proud record. He used to be the immigration minister in the glory days of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd government period. As it turns out, there were 6,600 people who arrived on his watch. So, imagine my surprise last week when he was out there saying it would be in 'the national interest' for people who had come by boat to settle in our country. It's strange because, at the time when he was minister, he ran a $37 million advertising campaign—
saying: 'If you come here by boat without a visa you won't be settled in Australia.' Nobody can believe a word the Labor Party says when it comes to border protection. They haven't learnt a thing since Kevin Rudd was Prime Minister. In actual fact, when you look at the succession of Labor leaders, this one is the worst and most incompetent leader when it comes to border protection that the Labor Party's ever seen.