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Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Page: 4346

National Security


Mr IRONS (Swan) (14:42): My question is to the Minister for Home Affairs. Will the minister update the House on the importance of well-designed border protection policies? Is the minister aware of any alternative approaches?


Mr DUTTON (DicksonMinister for Home Affairs and Minister for Immigration and Border Protection) (14:43): I thank the honourable member for his question. This is a significant issue in Western Australia, but it's a significant issue right across the country. In Queensland, for example, Queenslanders feel very strongly about border protection policy, and I notice some comments coming from Susan Lamb, who is the Labor candidate for Longman. She wants to allow the boats to restart and come back to our country, which would be a disaster, because, when Labor last wanted to implement this policy, there were 50,000 people who came on 800 boats, and 1,200 people drowned at sea. You hear Susan Lamb saying to people in Wamuran, Caboolture, D'Aguilar or Bribie Island:

It's been a long and deeply disturbing process on Manus. I can't understand why this Government won't accept the NZ offer as a bare minimum?

Labor put people on Manus. It was her government. It was the Labor government that put people on Manus. It was Labor who put people on Nauru. It was Labor who allowed 1,200 people to drown at sea, and they want to go back to that tragedy. It's been almost 1,400 days since we had a successful people-smuggling operation. And we've got hypocrites like the member for Batman, the sanctimonious hypocrite—

The SPEAKER: The minister will withdraw.

Mr DUTTON: I withdraw, Mr Speaker. We have moralising people like the member for Batman and the former member for Longman, Susan Lamb, up there telling us that they want to implement a humane policy. Where were they when 1,200 people drowned at sea?

It's this government that's taken people off Manus and Nauru. The Labor Party put people on Manus and Nauru. We aren't going to take a morals lecture from this person opposite. We aren't going to take a morals lecture from this Leader of the Opposition. He has a track record of duplicitous behaviour, whether it's in the union movement, where he ripped off workers, or it's in his professional life otherwise, where he's doublecrossed every person he's ever come across. He's now trying to fool the people in Longman, the people in Braddon, the people in Mayo and the Australian public otherwise that somehow he's going to stitch together a policy that stares down these moralising members of the Labor Party who pretend that they've got a humane policy, when all they will promise is to get through the next election and then undo the work that we've done to stop the boats.

What will happen again on their watch is that women and children will again drown. We will have children—8,000 under Labor went into detention. We closed 17 detention centres. We got those 8,000 kids out of detention. And this Leader of the Opposition is, frankly, the most sanctimonious person to occupy that seat.

Honourable members interjecting

The SPEAKER: The minister will remain at the dispatch box. Members will cease interjecting. The minister needs to withdraw the word 'duplicitous'. That's a personal reflection—

Mr DUTTON: I withdraw, Mr Speaker.

The SPEAKER: and unacceptable.