Select Page

An extract from an excellent editorial in today’s Australian.

“.. Bill Shorten has dubbed the Coalition “cowardly and cruel” over its latest effort to encourage refugees and asylum-seekers back to Nauru and Manus Island. In other words — even after the trauma, tragedy and expense we have seen over border security in the past — the Opposition Leader is arguing those who arrive by boat and inveigle their way into this country should be allowed to stay. “It’s not the best way for Australia, it’s not the future which I see for this country,” he said of the government’s approach.

This shows the ALP has failed to learn the lessons of this difficult issue across the decades. It means a Shorten Labor government, like the Rudd government before it, would weaken the nation’s border security regime and risk, once more, restarting the people-smuggling trade, leading to more boat arrivals and more lives being placed in jeopardy. It seems almost incomprehensible that we could be seeing this lunacy play out yet again.

Encouraged by refugee activists, who are constantly given an uncritical platform by our public broadcasters, Mr Shorten and the Greens seek to score political points by decrying the policies that have secured our borders, emptied most of the detention centres and halted this evil trade.

Some, as Scott Morrison said yesterday, have “gamed the system” to travel to Australia; and once here they have used legal assistance to seek injunctions and remain. They have been given housing and welfare payments. This speaks not of cruelty but generosity.

The success of the Coalition’s tough border policies is undeniable. Labor said this problem could not be fixed. But it has been. This uncompromising policy targets the greater good of protecting lives, maintaining the integrity of our borders and immigration system, and restoring fairness to our refugee intake. The logic behind it is relatively simple: deny people-smugglers the product of passage to Australia and the business model is broken. Mr Shorten and other Labor MPs say they understand this policy and want to continue it. Yet they cannot help chipping away at it. If they effectively endorse medical treatment as a backdoor route to get to Australia and remain here, they will create doubt about the nation’s resolve and create incentives for misadventure on Manus Island and Nauru.

The ALP — and the ABC — ought to know better…”   Labor supports a backdoor route into Australia