Australian Government - Department of Immigration and Border Protection

The Hon. Scott Morrison MP

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

Freedom of information disclosure log

Labor and Greens once again vote to honour people smugglers' promise

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Labor has once again joined in the Senate with their partners in border failure the Greens, voting to fulfil the people smugglers' promise of permanent visas for illegal boat arrivals, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon Scott Morrison said today.

'The government won a thumping endorsement from Australians to restore our full suite of border protection policies including temporary protection visas, yet Labor and the Greens remain welded to supporting the promises of people smugglers,' Minister Morrison said.

'Labor's reckless vote in the Senate today to allow illegal boat arrivals to receive permanent protection visas was irresponsible and shows they have learnt nothing after their five years of unprecedented cost, chaos and tragedy on our borders.

'Labor claims to actually want to stop illegal boat arrivals and yet they don't actually support the measures that are necessary to achieve this, be it the government's maritime operations under Operation Sovereign Borders or temporary protection visas.

'It has now been 98 days since a successful people smuggling venture to Australia.

'It is critical that people smugglers be prevented from boasting about success in having people they placed on boats receiving permanent visas. Labor does not understand this. They want to re-open the pandora's box on border protection failure, reintroducing the pull factor of permanent residency in Australia for illegal boat arrivals.

'Despite Labor and the Greens' determination to give people smugglers what they want, the Coalition Government will not be providing permanent visas to illegal boat arrivals.

'The government has capped the number of places available to onshore applicants under Australia's refugee and humanitarian programme consistent with our proposed planning levels. This will ensure the government can, for the 2013/14 refugee and humanitarian programme year, set aside 11 000 resettlement places for offshore applicants which includes an additional 4000 places for the Special Humanitarian Program.

'Our refugee and humanitarian programme is now back under the control of the Australian people, not people smugglers. The government makes no apology for prioritizing places under our programme to those whose quest for resettlement in Australia was impossible under Labor,' Minister Morrison said.

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Last update: Thursday, 27 March 2014 at 17:29 AEST