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Tuesday, 19 November 2013
Page: 650

Asylum Seekers

Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:43): My question is to the Prime Minister. Is the government considering formally abandoning its failed boat buy-back policy in order to improve its relationship with Indonesia?

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:44): I am really thrilled to get questions on this topic. And I am very pleased to say to the Leader of the Opposition we stand by all our policies. We stand by all of them because they are working. The boats have not entirely stopped but they are stopping. They are down almost 80 per cent in the first two months of this government compared with the last two months of the former government. That is good news for Australia, it is good news for the safety of life at sea, and it is good news for the strength of our relationship with Indonesia. The only people for whom it is not good news are members opposite, who are ashamed and embarrassed about their appalling record.