04 May, 2015
Opposition leader Bill Shorten has confirmed that a future Labor government will open the flood gates to a new wave of illegal maritime arrivals into Australia.
Mr Shorten repeatedly refused to answer direct questions today about whether Labor would maintain the Coalition’s tough border policies which have stopped the boats and halted the flow of 50,000 illegal arrivals into Australia under the last Labor Government.
The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said Mr Shorten can’t answer the question – he might be the leader, but Tanya Plibersek and the looney left call the shots and they will re-open our borders to the people smugglers, just as they did under Kevin Rudd.
“Mr Shorten is a leader with no power and no authority,” said Mr Dutton.
“We’ve stopped the boats, disrupted the people smugglers and ended the loss of life at sea.
“Today we’ve also shown the savings to taxpayers from Operation Sovereign Borders which will tally billions of dollars over coming years.
“There’ll be savings of half a billion dollars in the coming Budget because we’ve been able to close three more detention centres and cut the costs associated with them substantially.
“Yet Labor ignores all of these outcomes.
“Boat turn backs and Temporary Protection Visas are at the heart of our success in stopping the boats – Labor refuses to support turn-backs and fought to prevent re-introduction of TPVs.
“Bill Shorten is being told what to do and doesn’t have the fortitude to maintain tough policies which work, Labor under Shorten will flip and flop like Kevin Rudd and the result will be a re-start of hundreds of boats carrying thousands of people.
“If Bill Shorten is really Labor’s leader he needs to clearly state that he will maintain Operation Sovereign Borders.
“Today he was unable and unwilling to do that.”
The trouble for Mr Shorten is – Australians want an answer.
Further information: John Wiseman or Merryn Royle – 02 6277 7860