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Monday, 21 March 2011
Page: 2435


Mrs BRONWYN BISHOP (3:18 PM) —My question is to the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship. I refer the minister to the advertisement in today’s Australian seeking applications for an additional six public affairs and media officers paying between $56,000 and $117,000 per year for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. Is the government’s answer to out-of-control borders and detention centres really just more spin doctors?


Mr BOWEN (Minister for Immigration and Citizenship) —I thought the member for Stirling was the new shadow minister from immigration; it appears it is now the member for Mackellar. It is really getting better with every question.

The government’s answer to the issues facing us with asylum seekers is an international solution for an international problem; unlike the opposition, whose answer is a detention centre at Nauru and another on Christmas Island. We saw last week the real shadow minister for immigration slipping and sliding on the issue of whether 90 per cent of the people who are processed at Nauru ended up in Australia. He slipped and slid on it because it is a fact—it is the truth. Their policy is a complete fraud. We also heard about the policy of temporary protection visas, which saw the number of asylum seekers go up after its introduction. Most particularly, we heard the shadow minister’s policy of allowing visas for the first 3,750 people to arrive in Australia, creating a scramble to come to Australia.

We remain focused on the only sustainable policy, which is an international solution to an international problem.

Honourable members interjecting—


The SPEAKER —Order! There is a general warning and a number of people are fortunate that they were not sent out under standing order 94(a) because they transgressed standing order 65(b), which relates to audible interruptions. They were saved because the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship could not be overridden in decibel terms.


Mr Morrison —Mr Speaker, I seek leave to table the advertisement for the six new positions that are going to cost $600,000 a year.


The SPEAKER —The member for Cook will resume his seat. I indicate, and I do not know who was unlucky, that if—

An opposition member—The member for Boothby.


The SPEAKER —The member Boothby I reminded. If somebody has material that they have used in a question, I would accept that that person may seek leave to table that. I do not think that during question time we should allow anybody coming to the dispatch box to table documents willy-nilly. That was what the member for Boothby did an hour or so ago. I remind people.