Senate debates

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Matters of Public Importance

National Security

4:34 pm

Photo of Amanda StokerAmanda Stoker (Queensland, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

I rise to speak on this matter of public importance, which is framed:

That the flawed and dangerous Medevac legislation—

That were effected by Labor and the crossbench before the election—

undermines Australia’s border security and must be urgently repealed.

Most people have a longer memory than those on the crossbench and in Labor, but for those who can't remember, let me help them out. In the almost six years in which Labor was in power between 2007 and 2013, 50,000 people arrived in Australia illegally—using our waters and arriving in 800 boats. Eight thousand children were put into onshore detention in Australia, including 2,000 who remained in detention when the coalition came to government. At the worst of the people-smuggling trade and illegal arrivals there were 10,000 people living in 17 detention centres in Australia. If that wasn't bad enough, Australian taxpayers were paying $16 billion—not million, billion—to feed, house and clothe these detainees, in addition to the costs of processing them when they didn't have any documentation.

Now, I know I rattled off a lot of numbers, but let me give you the worst number of all—and it is 1,200. Twelve hundred people died at sea attempting to gain access to Australia's borders. Twelve hundred men, women and, sadly, children—

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