Senate debates

Tuesday, 28 November 2023

Questions without Notice: Take Note of Answers

Answers to Questions

3:17 pm

Photo of Deborah O'NeillDeborah O'Neill (NSW, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

I withdraw, but let's look at the record. Mr Dutton left us with a visa backlog of a million people. He cut compliance officers by 50 per cent. And, for all his talk about being tough on boat arrivals, who can forget that we found a boat floating up the Daintree River? Who can forget the disgraceful text messages affair on election day? Talking tough might get you some headlines, and it might get you on a few television shows, but being in government is not about getting on TV and getting a two-minute grab. It's about doing the hard yards. It's about getting policy right. It's about being consistent in what you say and what you do, and what we've seen is a huge difference between what Mr Dutton says and what he does.

In 2021, Mr Dutton said: 'Why would a member of parliament defend anyone who has been convicted of paedophilia?' On Sunday this week, we heard from the West Australian that one of Mr Dutton's own assistant ministers here in the chamber, Senator Dean Smith, did exactly that. He has written letters in support of a paedophile who was convicted of sex with a 13-year-old and a 15-year-old. Mr Dutton has said nothing about that, yet he continues to claim that he's out there looking after the Australian people. There's only one party that will defend the safety of the Australian people. That is the Labor Party. What you'll see from Mr Dutton and his colleagues is constant alarm and fear and nothing else.


No comments