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Monday, 16 November 2009
Page: 11685

Mr RUDD (Prime Minister) (3:32 PM) —Mr Speaker, I seek the indulgence of the chair to add to a further answer I gave earlier today.

The SPEAKER —The Prime Minister may proceed.

Mr RUDD —The Leader of the Opposition asked a question about the note provided by the ministerial councillor for immigration at the Australian embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia. He asked me whether I was aware of its contents and whether I approved of them. The answer was no and no, and that remains the case. As the honourable Leader of the Opposition will be familiar, lest there be any doubt, these matters are considered by the border protection committee of the cabinet. That is where it is handled. It is chaired by the immigration minister. That is where the processing lies. There are other ministers represented on the committee. There are ministerial staff on the committee, including my own staff. This government and I as Prime Minister fully endorse the handling of this matter including this document from the immigration councillor in Jakarta. It has been discharged by officials through that official process, and, as I have said before, as Prime Minister, I accept full responsibility for the government’s border protection policy.