House debates

Thursday, 16 November 2023

Statements by Members

Immigration Detention

1:51 pm

Photo of Gavin PearceGavin Pearce (Braddon, Liberal Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Health, Aged Care and Indigenous Health Services) Share this | | Hansard source

Our government's No. 1 priority must be to keep Australians safe. I recognise that this commitment comes with significant complexities, but in all cases we must be resolute in our prioritisation of protecting our citizens.

Last week, the High Court overturned a 20-year precedent that has underpinned our migration policy. This decision has resulted in 84 hardcore violent criminals, all non-citizens of Australia, being released into our local communities. I cannot accept the failure of this Labor government to prioritise legislation in order to fix this major national safety issue. This is one of the most significant domestic threats in recent times, a threat that the minister has known about since at least June. That's when this legislation should have come before this parliament, when it should have been fixed.

Mr Kerry Whittle, from East Devonport in my electorate, is just one of the many who have contacted my office in relation to this matter. Kerry said that he's worried sick, and he asked who is running this country and why haven't they fixed this. Well, Kerry, from East Devonport, you've nailed it. You're spot on. Kerry's sentiments are spot on and true. This government is not prioritising keeping Australians safe from violent, overseas-born non-citizens, and if this government was doing its job these hardened criminals will never have been released in the first place.