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Tuesday, 18 September 2012
Page: 11002

Budget


Mrs GRIGGS (Solomon) (14:37): My question is to the Treasurer. I remind the Treasurer that more than 5,000 people have arrived on illegal boats in less than three months while the government's budget assumes just 5,400 arrivals in 12 months. With total arrivals under Labor now exceeding 25,000, what is the effect of this latest blow-out on your budget?


Mr SWAN (LilleyDeputy Prime Minister and Treasurer) (14:37): I thank the member for Solomon for that question because she has got a hide to ask it. If those on that side of the House had agreed with us nine months ago, we could have had offshore processing up and running nine months ago and it would have been a lot cheaper for our budget.

Ms O'Dwyer: Madam Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I ask the Treasurer to withdraw that offensive remark.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms AE Burke ): The Treasurer has the call.

Mr SWAN: Those on that side of the House have sought to politicise this issue and they have done so in a way which has caused great damage.

Opposition members interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have not asked the Treasurer to withdraw. The Treasurer has the call.

Mr SWAN: This has done great damage because it has taken another nine months to get that done from the time that the minister for immigration made the offer to his counterpart on that side of the parliament. The consequence of that has been a pipeline of people wanting to come—

Ms O'Dwyer: Madam Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order. It is okay for the 'handbag hit squad' to have a very different standard but not for the Treasurer.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The member for Higgins will resume her seat. The Treasurer has the call.

Mr Pyne: Madam Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The member for Higgins is quite right. There is a great sensitivity on that side of the House with every comment made and we take offence at him saying—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Manager of Opposition Business will resume his seat. If everything was asked to be withdrawn in this House, not a statement would be made. It is at the discretion of the chair. I have not sought the Treasurer to withdraw. The Treasurer has the call.

Mr SWAN: We on this side of the House want to get outcomes in putting in place offshore processing. We have done everything we possibly can over the past nine months to get that in place. We were opposed every step of the way by those opposite. We have now got it up and running and that is very important. The cost to the budget will be accounted for in the mid-year budget update.

Honourable members interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I am looking for silence in the chamber.