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Thursday, 16 August 2012
Page: 5499


Senator JOYCE (QueenslandLeader of The Nationals in the Senate) (10:14): I think too often in this place we accuse people and deride people when we should really take the opportunity to laud the wisdom in the chamber and acknowledge people when they have found an epiphany and made that turnaround. Many people have said that the Labor Left would stand up on this issue, but I said to them, 'You don't know the Labor Left the way I know the Labor Left, and you've got nothing to worry about there.'

We have to give credit where credit is due. I thank the people of the Labor Left who have come to the epiphany that they now support the coalition's policy—Howard's policy—on illegal immigration. It is very strong of them to now understand that John Howard was correct. It is incredible when you hear of people, such as Anthony Albanese, who said that he liked to fight Tories, but they got it wrong. Actually, he was trying to say that he likes to tell stories. I thank the people of the Labor Left for their silence on this issue. I thank them for being complicit on this issue. I thank them for their philosophical change of heart, and the realisation that there is really nothing much there.

I have a strong view about strong border protection, but I know for a fact that they do not. It is a mockery in this place when there is a complete desertion of principles. It makes sense that that is what we would be saying. That has been our position but it has not been theirs. I start to wonder when all of these statements have been made—and there have been so many, from Doug Cameron and Julia Gillard—and they look like complete and utter hypocrites. People will start to wonder about where the plum of dignity is in this place when you have a complete and utter turnaround. I can understand how the Labor Right could have that position and maybe the Labor Centre, but how the Labor Left got to that position I do not know. It is peculiar in the extreme. It needs to be said. For the life of me, it is something that I cannot work out. What do we do? Do we thank Doug Cameron? Doug Cameron—