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Thursday, 22 September 2011
Page: 11222


Mr CHRISTENSEN (Dawson) (13:54): To put it in baseball terms, the ultimate umpire of the government's policies is the people, and the people in the electorate of Dawson have delivered their decision to me on the government's handling of the illegal immigration crisis. They have ruled that it is a crisis of the government's own making. When Labor stepped up to the plate in 2007, they inherited a system put in place by the Liberal-National coalition that effectively stopped the boats. The coalition had been on a winning streak, with only 16 illegal boat arrivals in six years. But Labor cried foul and caved in to the commentariat, the Greens and the left-wing luvvies. They stopped the home runs by scrapping the Pacific solution, scrapping temporary protection visas and reintroducing onshore processing. In almost four years, they have turned a solution into a problem and turned that problem into a crisis.

Since Labor cried foul on the coalition's tough border protection laws, 241 boats have reached our waters, bringing 12,262 unauthorised arrivals to our shores. Now we have a government in panic trying to catch their own curve ball and an immigration minister who has failed to fix this crisis at every base across the Pacific diamond. He failed with East Timor, he failed with Manus Island and now he has failed with Malaysia. That is 'three strikes and you're out', Minister. It is back to the dugout for the minister—time he handed in his resignation. Next batter up!