Labor is clearly split from the top down on border protection policies – a worrying and clear signal that it will change tack if it wins the next election.
Any change in the policy will see boats start again as we saw under Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.
Frontbencher and leadership candidate Anthony Albanese’s comments this morning supporting Labor MPs expressing their disagreement with current Labor policy is a clear marker of his opposition to Bill Shorten’s position.
Mr Albanese voted against Labor’s current policy at Labor’s national conference last year and today’s comments are confirmation of his firm opposition to strong border protection measures.
Having narrowly lost a leadership ballot to Mr Shorten in 2013 Mr Albanese is clearly carving-out a different position to that taken by Mr Shorten.
As a leading member of Labor’s Left, in government, one of his first priorities would be to dismantle the Coalition’s border protection policies which have stopped the boats and stopped the loss of life at sea.
Mr Albanese should stop deceiving Australians and clearly state his opposition to current Labor policy, as should his left faction colleagues Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek and Labor’s Senate Leader Penny Wong who both let proxies vote against Labor’s current policy.
Bill Shorten is isolated among his leadership colleagues in saying Labor would continue with tough border policies.
Even his support for such policies is nothing more than an attempt to hoodwink and placate voters in the lead up to an election.
Australians can’t look at what Labor says – they must look at what Labor does.
Kevin Rudd said he would stop the boats before an election and then tore down border protection policies once in Government – Bill Shorten is no different.
The rollcall of Labor MPs openly opposing current Labor policy now stands at five and is growing.
Any pretence by Bill Shorten and Richard Marles that Labor is united on border protection policy stands clearly exposed as fallacy.
Labor has already confirmed it will dismantle the Coalition’s Temporary Protection Visa regime - one of the three key components with boat turn-backs and regional processing that has stopped the boats.
The message that illegal maritime arrivals will never settle in Australia is quickly diluted without TPVs at the core of the policy.
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.
Labor will never keep the boats stopped.