Senate debates

Tuesday, 8 August 2017


Asylum Seekers

1:02 pm

Photo of Michaelia CashMichaelia Cash (WA, Liberal Party, Minister for Women) Share this | Hansard source

I note a number of the Greens sitting there saying, 'Shame'. I agree with you: it is a shame that you have deliberately buried your heads in the sand, since the first boat arrived. Because of a dirty deal that you did with the then Labor government, you refuse to take any form of responsibility for what occurred as a consequence of your actions. Sometimes in life, when you come to this place, you need to grow up. You need to understand that, when you support a policy that basically opens the floodgates to tens of thousands of people getting on boats and risking their lives to come to Australia, there will be consequences.

In August of 2017 the coalition government—elected in 2013 on an incredibly strong platform of restoring integrity to our borders—is still cleaning up the mess and dealing with the consequences of the decisions made by the Australian Greens. For them to come into this place today and use the very unfortunate death of a person in Papua New Guinea as an excuse to, yet again, claim the moral high ground is, quite frankly—I would say 'disgusting', but it is way worse than disgusting; it shows the Australian people just how low the Australian Greens will go in refusing to accept responsibility for their actions.

Had the Australian Greens not made the deals they had with the then Labor government to wind back Australia's strong border protection policies, we would not be standing here today having this suspension of standing orders moved by Senator McKim. It is a fact that directly because of the consequences of the decisions made and the deals done by the Australian Greens in excess of 50,000 people came to this country illegally and in excess of 1,200 people died. Maybe Senator McKim would like to move a minute's silence for each one of them, in recognition of the consequences of the Australian Greens' decisions on policies that had, unfortunately, fatal consequences. And let's not talk about the number of children that the Australian Greens themselves are responsible—directly—for putting in detention and behind bars. It is we on this side of the chamber who got them out of detention. It is a great shame when a senator elected to this place comes into this place and uses the death of someone merely for a political purpose and nothing more.


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