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Thursday, 10 May 2018
Page: 3710

National Security


Mr CRAIG KELLY (Hughes) (14:37): My question is to the Minister for Home Affairs. Will the minister update the House on the importance of strong and consistent border protection policies? Is the minister aware of any risks associated with alternative approaches?


Mr DUTTON (DicksonMinister for Home Affairs and Minister for Immigration and Border Protection) (14:37): I want to thank the honourable member for his question. The government takes very seriously, as the Australian people do, the protection of our borders. We want to make sure that we can bring people to our country safely. We want to make sure that we can assess the risk when people are applying for a visa, whether they're coming here through the humanitarian and refugee program or whether they're coming here on a business or tourist visa. We want to make sure we can do everything within our power to keep Australians safe.

Now, it is a fact, and the Australian public remembers this very well, that when Labor were in government they completely lost control of our borders. Eight hundred boats arrived, 1,200 people tragically drowned at sea and 50,000 people came through; 17 detention centres opened and thousands of children went into detention. We know now, as a result of the latest figures provided in the budget this week, that this disaster, presided over by Labor, has now cost us $16 billion. The Australian taxpayers, who are working hard, who are struggling to pay their energy bills at the moment and who are struggling to pay the bills associated with their household, have been ripped off by $16 billion, thanks to the Labor Party.

You would have thought that that would have been enough, given that this government has restored integrity to our borders and given that we have stopped those boats. We've turned back 32 boats with 800 people on them over the course of the last couple of years, we've not had a death at sea and we have security in our border system. You would have thought that the Labor Party may have learned something over the course of that period, but they haven't. The Australian public heard the Leader of the Opposition say that he would adopt the coalition policy and that there would be no difference between the Liberal Party policy and the Labor Party policy, but, as usual, he didn't tell the truth to the Australian public.

This person, who aspires to be the leader of our country, has deceived workers in this country, when they were ripped off when he was bargaining on their behalf and at the same time his union was accepting payments from the bosses. We know that his colleagues have been deceived and doublecrossed by him over his entire working career. We know that he will say or do anything. We know that he can never, ever be trusted. He can't go to this election saying that the Labor Party has the same policy as the coalition when it comes to border protection. He said that at the last election, and they have spent every day since crab-walking back from that position. There is now a majority of caucus members who are opposed to Operation Sovereign Borders. This Leader of the Opposition couldn't lie straight in bed, and the Australian public well and truly know that by now.