Thirdly, it is important that we have to address the legacy. There are 30,000 people who remain onshore as a
result of the previous government’s failings. There’s around about 2,500 sitting jointly between the Manus
and Nauru centres and we need to work through the processing and settlement arrangements there and the return of those who are found not to be refugees.
Finally, there’s an election in Western Australia next Saturday for the Senate and the Australian pe
ople and particularly those in Western Australia should know that the Labor Party continue to oppose the policies that
are working. In particular, they oppose our maritime operations and the policy of turn backs where it’s safe
to do so. They continue to oppose the reintroduction of temporary protection visas. Despite the success the Labor Party and The Greens still oppose the policies that have delivered this result which we are pleased to report on today.
Are you prepared to say “mission accomplished”?
No, because as Scott said, the monsoon is coming to an end and traditionally, people smuggling operations
have picked up at the end of the monsoon. In addition, we don’t simply have to stop the boats but we’ve got
to deal w
ith the consequences of the former government’s failure and the consequences of the former government’s failure are not only the 30,000 people who are in Australia who came illegally by boat, but there’s some hundreds in Nauru and about 1,300 in Manus, so
that all has to be dealt with. So, it is too early to declare that the job is done, but nevertheless I think we can safely say that the way is closed. We can safely say that the way is closed. We can say to all of the people who scoffed, we can say to
all of the people who said it couldn’t be done, that the boats couldn’t be stopped, that it was just a simple
slogan that could never be implemented - that it can be done and it is being done.
But just because there are no successful ventures to Australia doesn’t necessarily mean the boats are
stopping coming all together though, does it?
Well, that’s exactly right. The monsoon is ending and typically there has been an u
psurge in people smuggling ventures once the monsoon has ended, but we have gone 100 days without any successful people smuggling ventures arriving in Australia and in the same period last year
in the same period 12 months ago
we had 66 illegal boat arrivals and we had almost 4,000 people illegally arriving by boat. So, this is a dramatic transformation under the policies of this Government.
In that hundred days how many boats have been turned around?
I’m not going to comme
nt on operations on the water, just say that we have implemented every aspect of the policies that we put to the people at the election and obviously one of the policies that we did take to the
election was turning boats around where it’s safe to do so.