Eighteen months ago – as a new government – we faced the very difficult issue of dealing with Labor's absolute failure to maintain the integrity of Australia's borders over the preceding six years.
The legacy of that failure was detention centres packed with illegal maritime arrivals, indeed centres that were straining under the weight of the sheer number of people.
Australians elected the Coalition to deal with the considerable and numerous problems Labor had created and that is what we are doing.
When serious allegations relating to the conditions and circumstances at the Regional Processing Centre in Nauru were made, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection commissioned an independent review by former Integrity Commissioner Mr Philip Moss.
Mr Moss's report was delivered to the departmental Secretary early last month. It outlines some very disturbing matters including drug dealing, sexual assault and rape.
I do not intend to comment on the individual issues as many remain the subject of investigation or ongoing review by the Nauruan Police, the Department, the service providers at the Nauru RPC and the Australian Federal Police.
But let me state emphatically, that as Minister I have zero tolerance for any form of criminal activity. Sexual assault, particularly involving minors is personally abhorrent to me.
The concerning issues outlined by Mr Moss are not isolated to the detention centres – unfortunately they occur daily in our own society.
Our response to these problems in the detention centres is - as it would be in that wider society. Serious allegations of wrongdoing must be adequately assessed and reported for appropriate investigation.
Mr Moss has made 19 recommendations. The Department has accepted and responded to all of those recommendations.
Secretary Pezzullo assures me there is a clear implementation plan and the Department is already working with the Government of Nauru and the RPC service providers to implement that response.
Over and above the Moss recommendations, I have advised the Department of further strategies to be taken. The Secretary is working on these matters and will provide more information in the near future.
In conclusion, this Government inherited complex problems. It has worked and is working to solve them. The number of people in detention has fallen significantly and is being reduced by the day.
In 2007 there were just four illegal maritime arrivals in detention in Australia – none of them children.
There would be none in detention today – if Labor had not opened the borders to people smugglers.
There would be none in detention today – if people had not paid people smugglers to bring them to Australia illegally.
There are now strong policies in place that have stemmed the flow of illegal arrivals. As a Government and as a nation we must remain resolute and vigilant.