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Monday, 21 November 2016
Page: 3686


Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (15:09): My question is to the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection. I refer to his previous answer. Which people, from which country, does the minister believe should not have been allowed into Australia when Mr Fraser was Prime Minister?

Mr Dreyfus interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Isaacs is warned.

Mr DUTTON (DicksonMinister for Immigration and Border Protection) (15:09): I thank the Leader of the Opposition for his question. The advice that I have is that, out of the last 33 people who have been charged with terrorist related offences in this country, 22 are from second- and third-generation Lebanese Muslim backgrounds. I am not going to allow people who are hardworking, who have done the right thing by this country, who have contributed, who have worked hard and who have educated their children to be defined by those people who are doing the wrong thing and have been charged with terrorist offences or have been involved in crime otherwise. If the Leader of the Opposition wants somehow to conduct a phoney debate in this country and not to be honest in relation to these matters, that is an issue for him.

We are doing all that we can, through our intelligence agencies and through our border protection agencies, to make sure that we detect offences before they occur and to make sure that we can disrupt these terrorist offences, in particular, before they take place. But I am not going to shy away from the facts. I hold up those people who have come from all walks of life—the Vietnamese who came in; people who have come in from Asia and from war-torn Europe; people who have come in from Lebanon and otherwise. Many people who have built this country over many decades deserve to be praised, but I am going to call out those people who are doing the wrong thing. If we pretend otherwise, my judgement is that we only compound these problems.

It is very hard to take anything seriously from this Leader of the Opposition when he presided over the greatest failing of public policy in this country's history, when they allowed the 50,000 people on 800 boats to come into this country. We are getting the balance right when it comes to the migration policy in this country. We have 18,750 people a year coming here under our refugee and humanitarian programs, we have a net migration figure of close to 200,000 and we are working on one of the best programs in the world to provide a second start in life for people—and we want them to do it in a safe society. I do not want people, whether they are longstanding or new arrivals to our country, being harmed. I do not want terrorist offences being committed in our country. I do not want people committing all sorts of extortion and other crimes in parts of the country. I do not want that. I want a safe country, and I am going to do everything that I can in this portfolio to stare these threats down.

I am not interested in the politically correct nonsense that the Leader of the Opposition might carry on with. I want to make sure that we settle people in this country who want to take the opportunity given to them. We provide support services, education and housing, and many people—the vast majority of people—make an absolute go of that. But, for those people who do not, we should own up to our mistakes, we should rectify the problems and we should ensure the great future of this country.