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Monday, 9 December 2013
Page: 1939

Asylum Seekers


Mr MARLES (Corio) (15:00): My question is to the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection. Earlier this year, the now Prime Minister described the arrival in Australia of an undetected asylum seeker vessel as evidence that the government has 'kind of surrendered'. Now that one boat has reached Darwin and a group of asylum seekers has spent three days on Christmas Island undetected, by the Prime Minister's own measure, when it comes to asylum seekers, has the government 'kind of surrendered'?


Mr MORRISON (CookMinister for Immigration and Border Protection) (15:01): I would have to check the record, but that vessel that came to Geraldton on that day probably would have been vessel 750 something, I suspect, at that time. It came to the mainland of Australia, not to Christmas Island. It was sponsored by Deutsche Bank, I think, from memory!

Mr Perrett interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Moreton will remove himself under standing order 94(a).

The member for Moreton then left the chamber.

Mr MORRISON: To assist the member: in October, November and so far in December there have been 14 boats that have arrived including the one where 27 people were very fortunate to get ashore and not perish at sea last Monday evening. During the same period last year under the former government's policies, 97 vessels turned up in the same period. I know that those opposite are very sensitive on this point. I welcome the fact that they wish to come in here on multiple occasions and ask questions about these matters. I am happy to answer because their record speaks plainly for itself—that is, they have the worst record of border failure of any government in our history. The Australian people voted for a change, and they are getting that change: there has been an 80 per cent reduction in illegal arrivals to Australia by boat since operation sovereign borders.

I notice that the manager of opposition business continues to protest. But the facts speak for themselves—he was the biggest failure on our borders in our nation's history.