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Subjects: Labor divided on Border Protection. 

EO&E...


ALAN JONES: 
 
Peter Dutton is on the line. Peter Dutton good morning [technical issue]. Hello Peter, are you there?

PETER DUTTON:

Got you now thank you.

ALAN JONES: 

You right? Where are you?

PETER DUTTON:

I’m in Brisbane.

ALAN JONES: 

Oh yes okay I have got you there. Where are we today then?

PETER DUTTON:

Well I think people need to have a look very closely at the comments being made by Labor members because there is now open defiance of Bill Shorten on border protection issues.

As you rightly point out at the conference last year, Mr Shorten was able to stitch together a deal with the support of the CFMEU which allowed him to come out and say there is no difference between Malcolm Turnbull, between Tony Abbott and I and Labor in government will continue these tough border protection policies.

The trouble is that the policy for them has fallen apart and I’m not sure whether you have seen the interview with Anthony Albanese on Lateline last night, but it was a train wreck interview for Anthony Albanese and he is the alternative leader, as you say, to Bill Shorten and he is not out there openly defying his leader saying that these people on the left that now number 12 within Labor ranks that opposed to Bill Shorten’s policy on boats. He is out there sanction ing their words and essentially trying to save his own seat against the Greens.

And it seems that Labor’s policy certainly won’t make it through the election let alone into Government.

ALAN JONES: 

 Yes I mean he voted at the National Conference, Anthony Albanese, he spoke and voted against the position. Tanya Plibersek is the Deputy Leader of the Labor Party and at the ALP Conference last year the Deputy Leader Tanya Plibersek and Senator Wong, the Leader of the Labor Party in the Senate, handed their votes to proxies and those proxies voted against the Labor position that Bill Shorten is now proclaiming.

PETER DUTTON:

Well that is exactly right Alan and see this is the difficulty for Bill Shorten because this is position that Kevin Rudd took to the 2007 election when he defeated John Howard. He wanted people to believe that he had an economic plan and that he was going to be an e conomic conservative, that he would continue the boat policies, keep kids out of detention.

The trouble for Labor is that they can’t hold that position in Government and Tanya Plibersek, Anthony Albanese, all of these people would be sitting around the National Security Committee and they would be arguing against the Prime Minister of the day Mr Shorten and the policy would fall apart.

People smugglers are organised criminal syndicates, they look for weakness, they watch every word that each of us has to say on this issue and they message that out to people to say ‘look we are waiting for the election, if there is a change of government then we think we are back in business and you will be back on the boats,’ and that is what they said when Kevin Rudd was the opposition leader and it turned out to be true.

I believe very, very strongly that Labor, as we are seeing in the first couple of days in this campaign, can’t hold this po licy together of firmness against people smugglers and against stopping these boats recommencing in opposition.

If he can’t show the leadership in opposition how on earth can Bill Shorten show the leadership if he were to be elected Prime Minister?

ALAN JONES: 

I just wish you weren’t so soft about these things you know. You are a good man Peter Dutton.

Look I just want you to come back to a point that you just made quickly there, but it is critical to our understanding of these issues. Just go back to your reference to the National Security Committee. This is a really critical arm of government that very few people talk about where these things are decided and resolved. Not by the parliament, not by the Cabinet, just a select group of people. Just reiterate that point would you?

PETER DUTTON:

Well Alan the Committee is a sub-committee of Cabinet. It is chaired by the Prime Minister an d it makes decisions that affect our national security and border security interests.

We have the General that’s in charge of Operation Sovereign Borders, we have the Chief of the Defence Force, the heads of ASIO and ASIS, the heads of the AFP and other government agencies...

ALAN JONES: 

 …so your point is that if Bill Shorten were Prime Minister sitting around that table would be the Deputy Prime Minister Tanya Plibersek, Anthony Albanese and these people and the bureaucrats doing their bidding.

PETER DUTTON:

Well that’s exactly right and the bureaucrats need definite decisions and direction from the government…

ALAN JONES: 

…Quite. Government sets the policy.

PETER DUTTON:

That’s what they have received from this government. We haven’t, and its important in terms of the point about bei ng tough Alan, I mean we have been able to get kids out of detention because we have stopped the boats. If we have new boat arrivals then kids would go back into detention and that’s not what we want.

So if you have got a Prime Minister sitting there in Bill Shorten and his key Ministers are arguing against him and ultimately I think defeating him, because that’s the reality of the numbers within the Labor party then these people smugglers….

ALAN JONES: 

…that’s the lurch to the left Peter.

PETER DUTTON:

That’s exactly right Alan and we must defeat it.

ALAN JONES: 

Oh yeah you have done a brilliant job.

Look the Labor candidate for Bass, I mean this is every state by the way, this is the point that’s its every state, the Labor candidate for Bass in Tasmania Ross Hart said in the past that he would vote against turn bac ks. The Labor candidate for Cowan in Melbourne Anne Aly said ‘I support Labor’s stance to move towards a more humane and humanitarian approach.’ The Labor candidate for Higgins in Melbourne Corey Rabaut tweeted that the ‘German Neo-Nazi Party had endorsed Australia’s current refugee policy.’ You have got the former speaker Anna Burke, you have got the Freemantle MP Melissa Parke. I mean they are everywhere.

PETER DUTTON:

Well they number 12 now and there is no sense in Bill Shorten saying at his press conference again today that there is nothing to see here, everything is fine, Labor will just continue the policies of the Coalition Government.

He needs to come out and answer this. It’s now a leadership issue for Mr Shorten today.

ALAN JONES:

Well yes it’s overtaken the campaign this.

PETER DUTTON:

Well this is the issue and he needs to dea l with Mr Albanese and discipline him. The interview last night on Lateline where Mr Albanese refused point blank to state that he supported the position of the Coalition in relation to turn backs where its safe to do so, in relation to Temporary Protection Visas and in relation to offshore processing. They are the three elements Alan that have given us success in stopping these boats and Anthony Albanese refused on several occasions last night to confirm that that was actually Labor’s potion and Mr Shorten needs to deal with this. This is his leadership opponent and he needs to deal with this split in the Labor party because it’s clear that if he can’t govern them in opposition then how on earth can he govern them if he was to win the election.

ALAN JONES:

Yes it’s one thing to say we are in unity with the government on border protection when you have disunity within your party.

Just coming to another point, but relat ed to that. I noticed you said, just a quick one on this, there is a lot of intelligence coming out of different parts about people hoping that the election is the turning point for them and that there might be an opportunity for them after the election to restart their businesses, their people smuggling businesses.

I don’t want men, and this is Peter Dutton, ‘men, women and children to go to the bottom of the ocean and I don’t want people to turn up unannounced to our country.’

So your intelligence tells you that they are on the alert and watching every move?

PETER DUTTON:

Yes they are and this was reported on Channel 7 only a fortnight ago Alan. People smugglers are telling people in Indonesia that they are waiting for the outcome of the election and they think that it could be a turning point, a change of policy and that the people smugglers would be back in business.

They watch every word that Shorten says, that Turnbull says, that Dutton says, that Marles’ says and if they can then they manipulate that into a message that the boats are able to restart that you will be settled in Australia.

That is why we have a tough, strong and consistent line and that’s why they would be rubbing their hands together in Indonesia now at the words of Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese.

That’s why this Government will not blink and we will not be dictated to by people smugglers and we are not going to allow women and children to drown at sea.

ALAN JONES:

Good on you. I just want to say this to you because politicians never get any credit. There are people listening to you all over Australia at the moment and they are just simply saying that they are very grateful that Peter Dutton is there representing their interests and they feel infinitely safer as a result of that so I thank you and congratulate you and wish y ou well.

PETER DUTTON:

Thank you Alan and all the best to you too mate.

[ends]


Posted in: Media Releases
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