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Wednesday, 13 February 2019
Page: 381

Mr CHRISTENSEN (Dawson) (10:27): Yesterday we witnessed Labor prematurely letting the cat out of the bag. Joined by the Greens and left-wing Independents, Labor began their dismantling of Australia's border security by voting to hand control of our borders to a few doctors. The doctors they want in control of our borders are people who believe that sending illegal boat arrivals to Nauru is worse than sending Jews to the gas chambers in Auschwitz. The Australian Medical Association representative, Paul Bauert, backed by dozens of similarly minded doctors in Canberra, declared that illegal boat arrivals on Nauru were a worse situation than Jews in Auschwitz because people who knew that they were going to be gassed by Nazis:

… found some sense of relief in knowing what was happening.

That's disgusting. I don't remember reading anywhere in the history books that the Jews were offered free flights home anytime they wanted. Not all doctors hold those radical beliefs, and most don't, but these are the people that Labor and the Greens want put in charge of our borders, and they voted to do so as law yesterday. If anyone on Nauru—a convicted terrorist, a rapist, a petty criminal—tells two doctors with those beliefs that they have an earache, a tummy ache, a bad back or whatever, they'll be flown to Australia under Labor's law, where they can launch legal proceedings and never ever have to return home.

Labor claims that the law is needed because there is insufficient medical assistance on Nauru, which is an insult to anyone living in regional Queensland. There are 60 doctors and other health professionals on Nauru for a population of 400 people. Gee, I wish we had that in some places up north! Where is their concern for places like Alligator Creek, south of Townsville, for Bloomsbury, south of Proserpine, or for Calen?

These places have a similar or even larger population and I can assure you that none of them have 60 health professionals on hand—the only place in Australia that would have a comparable ratio would be the Palazzo Versace on the Gold Coast during an AMA convention—and the same is the case even for the larger regional centres in my electorate like Mackay, the Whitsundays, Bowen, Burdekin and Townsville.

The question that these guys in the Labor Party need to answer is: where does the local Labor candidate stand on this issue? She needs to declare now whether she supports the weakening of Australia's border laws that her party voted for only yesterday. She needs to declare whether she will support the further dismantling of Australia's border security laws that will happen under a Labor government. They have let the cat out of the bag. They have weakened our borders. It's disgusting. The people of North Queensland know that they can count on me to put their interests first, to stand up for North Queensland and to protect our borders. That is what is most important.