The deep divide in Labor ranks over border protection policies is now well and truly out in the open with three Labor MPs, including a frontbencher, breaking ranks today and calling for a “re-think”.
At the very time Mr Shorten was telling media this morning he would maintain tough border measures, the three MPs were contradicting their leader’s policy position saying it must change.
Melissa Parke, Lisa Singh and Sue Lines told Fairfax Media the illegal maritime arrivals at the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre in Papua New Guinea should be brought to Australia for processing and resettlement.
Mr Shorten has not even been able to get to the election starting line without disunity boiling over.
His Deputy Tanya Plibersek, his Senate Leader Penny Wong and leadership rival Anthony Albanese from Labor’s Left must now publicly declare whether they support the policy and support Bill Shorten.
None of these key Labor frontbenchers supported the motion to adopt Labor’s current policy at the party’s national convention last year.
They cannot continue to hide their real views on this key area of national security.
Maintaining the integrity of our borders is vital to providing a safe and secure country.
Australians must question how Mr Shorten would ever maintain the border protection measures that have stopped the boats and stopped the deaths at sea should Labor ever be returned to government.
The reality is Labor will talk tough before an election and cave-in in government bringing a return of the people smugglers’ boats and the illegal maritime arrivals.