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Thursday, 24 May 2018
Page: 4597


Mr WALLACE (Fisher) (14:40): My question is to the Minister for Home Affairs. Will the minister update the House on the importance of having consistent border protection policies, and is the minister aware of any other proposals?


Mr DUTTON (DicksonMinister for Home Affairs and Minister for Immigration and Border Protection) (14:40): It's certainly the case that this side of the parliament is very aware—as I think the majority of Australians are aware—that border protection is incredibly important in this day and age. We had an incredible mess to clean up when Labor was in government. They had a situation where they'd inherited four people in detention under John Howard's government—no children—and they had 50,000 people arrive on 800 boats and 1,200 people drowned at sea.

There is a civil war taking place within the Labor Party at the moment on this very issue, because many of them propose to go back to the Rudd and Gillard policies, which resulted in those deaths at sea and those kids in detention. I saw an interesting tweet from somebody who is well respected by many members opposite—in fact, a former leader of the Labor Party. This is the 'Real Mark Latham'.

Opposition members interjecting

Mr DUTTON: You voted for him! He was your leader. You were climbing the ladder with him. You went walking in his footsteps. What does he say? I quote Mark Latham. He says:

Media reporting that "Labor is divided on boat arrivals".

In fact, they are remarkably united: 90% of the Caucus believes in ending offshore processing.

Bill Shorten believes in open borders ("humane treatment of refugees") but is only saying otherwise for electoral reasons.

If ever you needed evidence of a torn Labor Party, you could point to many of them—the comments that they've made.

But the most remarkable comment I've ever seen comes from the Labor Party in relation to this particular matter. Where is it? Someone's smiling down on the corner here, because there was a transcript issued. And the transcript, issued by the Hon. Linda Burney, shadow minister for human services, member for Barton, was nothing like the actual interview. It was so bad—I've highlighted the parts where they fabricated the transcript. The highlighted bits are added in. They couldn't even doctor it to the point that they represented what David Speers had to say as being accurate. They doctored Speersy, and in this transcript it shows that it was the most duplicitous act. It was cleared by the Leader of the Opposition's office. It was conveyed to the press gallery by the Leader of the Opposition's office. Nobody would be surprised that this Leader of the Opposition would be part of a dodgy deal trying to cover up some sort of dodgy circumstance. The Labor Party is hopeless when it comes to stopping the boats.