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Wednesday, 2 November 2011
Page: 12491

Asylum Seekers


Mr MORRISON (Cook) (14:09): My question is to the Acting Prime Minister. Will the Acting Prime Minister finally admit that, if the government supports the coalition's amendments to the migration bill, it could establish offshore processing in 148 countries, including reopening the Australian taxpayer funded processing centres on Nauru and Manus Island immediately?


Mr SWAN (LilleyDeputy Prime Minister and Treasurer) (14:09): I see the shadow minister talked about reopening Nauru, which the government have been advised, by all of our advisers—the same advisers who advised them when they were in government—that Nauru simply does not work. A few minutes ago, the former member for Cook was on Sky News, and this is what he had to say. He said:

Seventy per cent of those who were processed in Nauru then went on to receive settlement grants.

That is, they came to Australia. This is not the deterrent that those opposite pretend it is.

Mr Morrison: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order going to relevance. My question was not about Sky News interviews; it was about whether the Migration Act bill amendment—

The SPEAKER: The member for Cook will resume his seat. The only point of order can be on direct relevance. The Acting Prime Minister knows the requirements of the standing orders and he has the call.

Mr SWAN: I was making the point that there is not a shred of policy credibility in Nauru, which is what those opposite are saying. That is why this government—

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Order! The Acting Prime Minister will resume his seat. Shouting and pointing fingers is not actually engaging by listening.

Mr Hockey interjecting

The SPEAKER: Order! The member for North Sydney should be very careful. The Acting Prime Minister has the call. He should be heard in silence.

Mr SWAN: All they want to do is play politics with this issue. On this very day, after we have seen another significant tragedy, with people dying at sea, their priority is to come in here and run these sorts of tawdry political lines. What we on this side of the House want to see and what the Australian people want to see is a genuine solution to this problem. They want to see a solution which looks at the humanitarian concerns. They do not want to see people dying at sea. They want to see a government that can put in place policies which break the people smugglers' model, and we know very clearly that Nauru does not do that, which is why we have always sought a genuine regional solution and we will continue to support a genuine regional solution. They can continue to play politics, but we are not going to see them there.