Media reports suggest that Labor members want to again undo successful border protection policies and go back to the days of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd governments and open the borders to people smugglers, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said today.
Minister Dutton called on Bill Shorten to come clean on Labor's position on border protection.
“Bill Shorten must decide if he is on the side of those making exaggerated and unfounded claims endorsing an open border policy and putting transferees at risk or does he support proven border protection policies that have helped prevent deaths at sea,” Mr Dutton said.
“The Government's policies have restored integrity to our humanitarian and immigration programmes and saved lives.
“A number of Labor members including Melissa Parke and Anna Burke have made clear that they want to again dismantle key elements of Australia's border protection framework. It is a position that may have the support of other senior Labor members including Anthony Albanese and Tanya Plibersek.
“My position is clear. The Government will not waver on its policies which have saved lives and restored integrity to our immigration and humanitarian programmes. Anyone who comes to Australia illegally by boat without a visa will not be settled in Australia.
“It's now time for Mr Shorten to declare his position – does he support the strong border protection policies or does he agree with his Labor colleagues and want to again hand over control of our borders to people smugglers and return to a situation of thousands of illegal maritime arrivals by boat? ” Mr Dutton said.