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Tuesday, 20 June 2017
Page: 4363


Senator McGRATH (QueenslandAssistant Minister to the Prime Minister) (15:55): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator McGRATH: The coalition government will not weaken our strong border protection measures. The Greens forget that it was our measures that made Australia's generous response to the global humanitarian crisis possible. Our strong border policies enabled an additional intake of 12,000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees in the largest offshore humanitarian program in more than 30 years in 2015-16. Under Labor and the Greens 50,000 people risked their lives at sea on more than 800 boats. At least 1,200 people drowned and 8,000 children entered detention. It was a catastrophic moral failure. We cannot return to those disastrous days. The coalition government's strong and consistent border protection policies will not change.

The PRESIDENT: The question is that the motion moved by Senator McKim be agreed to.