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Tuesday, 30 October 2012
Page: 12540

Asylum Seekers

Mr MORRISON (Cook) (14:27): My question is to the Prime Minister. Given that the government's estimate in the budget of 450 illegal boat arrivals each month has already been exceeded by more than 6,500, what is the new number of illegal arrivals by boat that the government is now estimating for the current financial year, to justify their latest $1.2 billion budget blowout on boats?

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:27): To the shadow minister's question, we have appropriately provisioned for that in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook. That is the same MYEFO that delivers billions of dollars in savings to return the budget to surplus, and we are on track to deliver that. The shadow minister evidences some concern about boat arrivals. Like him I am concerned about boat arrivals. I am concerned about the months and months and months of reckless delay that the negativity of the opposition costs us, and I am concerned now that they still fail to endorse the full recommendations of the Houston review.

Mrs Mirabella interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Indi is now warned.

Mr MORRISON: I have a supplementary question for the Prime Minister. With 16 boats carrying over 600 passengers arriving in the last seven days—more in a week than the government estimated would arrive in a month—how can the government credibly claim it will deliver a surplus in 2012-13 with these blow outs?

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:28): In answer to the shadow minister's question I refer him to my last answer and to the provisions in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook. I would also say to the shadow minister that it really does strike me as a little bit strange that month after month after month he came into this parliament saying Nauru was the answer: Nauru was definitely the answer! Now, apparently so that he can maintain a negative stance, he has moved the goal posts. Now he is saying, presumably, that the policy he advocated is destined for failure. What this proves is that whatever the government does the opposition will say something negative. Whatever we do—

Mr Morrison: I rise on a point of order: direct relevance. I asked how the Prime Minister could credibly claim the government will deliver a surplus in 2012-13 given the blow outs that are occurring on our borders.

The SPEAKER: The member for Cook will resume his seat. The Prime Minister has the call and will be heard in silence.

Ms GILLARD: I heard the shadow minister's question and I am left wondering how he can credibly participate in this debate given the politics he played with grief and given his multiple positions—

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister will return to the question.

Ms GILLARD: since then and his negativity as on display in this parliament today. There we have it.