THE HON KAREN ANDREWS MP
MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS
THE HON ALEX HAWKE MP
MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION, CITIZENSHIP, MIGRANT SERVICES AND MULTICULTURAL AFFAIRS
Today, the Coalition releases our plan for protecting our borders.
A re-elected Coalition Government will ensure Australia’s borders remain safe and secure by:
- Maintaining Operation Sovereign Borders: the strong and proven policy that saves lives, and tackles people smuggling and irregular migration.
- Sustaining the three vital pillars of our border policies: regional processing, boat turn-backs where it is safe to do so and temporary protection visas.
- Continuing to take a hard line stance against non-citizen criminals: by cancelling or refusing the visas of those who commit serious crimes, and strengthening the grounds for doing so.
- Providing support for genuine refugees: continue to deliver one of the world’s most generous humanitarian programs, in addition to providing 31,500 places for those displaced by the Afghanistan crisis.
- Boosting front line border staff: to stop drugs, weapons and other illegal goods from entering our shores.
Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said Labor’s promise to abolish temporary protection visas, a key pillar of Operation Sovereign Borders, demonstrated the clear choice at this election between strong borders and weak borders.
“Make no mistake, a change of government means a change to Australia’s strong border protection policies,” Minister Andrews said.
“The Coalition’s strong border policies stopped the boats, ending deaths at sea and the illegal trade of people smuggling.
“When the last Labor Government dismantled our strong and effective border policies, lives were lost, chaos erupted and thousands of children were locked up in detention.”
A re-elected Morrison Government will also pass new laws to charge foreign criminals for the cost of their own immigration detention.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said weak laws passed by Labor in 2009 meant every criminal’s detention – other than people smugglers and illegal foreign fishers – was a burden to taxpayers.
“Because of changes Labor made last time they were in government, murderers and drug dealers are getting a free ride courtesy of the taxpayer – and that ends if the Morrison Government is re-elected,” Minister Hawke said.
“We are reversing Labor’s weak laws because we don’t believe foreign criminals deserve free rent, food and medical treatment while we go through the process of deporting them.
“We have cancelled or refused visas to over 10,000 serious criminals through our reforms to the Character Test and as we go through the process of deporting even more, the free ride they are getting now ends.”
This follows revelations that Chris Bowen, Brendan O’Connor and Tony Burke released 503 individuals who had, or went on to have, criminal convictions for, amongst other things violent crimes (213), sexual crimes (58), child sex offences (40) and serious drug offences (72).
Labor released these people without proper checks and without considering the risk to the community because they lost control of our borders – and that’s the risk under Anthony Albanese.