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Tuesday, 11 February 2014
Page: 39

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Asylum Seekers

Mr HAWKE (Mitchell) (14:53): My question is to the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection. Given that it has now been more than 50 days since the last illegal boat arrival, will the minister update the House on the government's Operation Sovereign Borders policy and how the government is keeping its election commitment to stop the boats?

Mr MORRISON (CookMinister for Immigration and Border Protection) (14:53): The member is correct: it has been more than 50 days since there has been a successful people-smuggling venture to arrive in Australia. Not one successful venture has made it to Australia in the last more than 50 days under the working policies of this coalition government. In this year alone, in 2014, there have been no single ventures that have successfully arrived, and that compares over the same period of time to last Friday to 14» «boats and 798 people that turned up this time last year, which was also a monsoon period. The message is certainly getting through. During the course of the past week I had occasion to be in Malaysia, where I was able to be informed that people are now starting to make their way back up the chain; it is reversing. They are going back up the chain from Indonesia to Malaysia because they know that the way to Australia is closed under this government's policies. Further, I happened to be in a displaced persons camp in Rakhine state of Myanmar on Sunday and in that camp I was told by those who are in the camp that they know of the policies of this government and that those policies are working and the way to Australia is closed under this government.

Those opposite I would have thought would have welcomed the fact that this government is stopping the boats. Maybe it is that they just do not know what border protection success looks like, because for six years they certainly did not get a glimpse of it in any way, shape or form. But this government is going to keep doing what we have been doing. I know those opposite are going to keep opposing what they know works, because of the shame of their border protection failure. We are going to continue to deny permanent residence to those who have arrived illegally by boat, which Labor and the Greens continue to combine in the Senate to try and oppose. We are going to continue to run offshore processing the way it was designed, not the mess that was left to us by those opposite. We are going to continue our policy of regional deterrence, working with our partners in the region like Malaysia to ensure that people do not come down that chain. And we are going to continue to intercept and remove vessels that seek to illegally enter Australian waters, as has been the practice of this government. We are going to keep doing that because that is what we promised the Australian people we would do. That is what we are doing. It is getting results. I call on those opposite to support rather than consistently trying to frustrate and undermine the policies they know are working and they never had the strength to implement.