Media Release

Tony Abbott Joint Press Release - 701 Boats: Labor's National Security Failure

The latest arrival of two vessels carrying 157 people takes the total number of illegal boats that have arrived on Labor’s watch past 700.

Over 42,000 people have arrived on 701 boats since the Rudd-Gillard Government dismantled the Howard Government’s border protection regime.

Labor’s decision to dismantle the Howard Government’s policies has put our country’s security at risk.

It has cost hundreds of lives lost at sea and resulted in thousands of people entering our communities without rigorous security checks. 

It has seen border protection cost blowouts of more than $10 billion for a system that does not work – that’s money which could otherwise fund hospitals, roads and help repay debt.

Labor’s mismanagement has also included the detention of a convicted jihadist terrorist in low security family accommodation at Inverbrackie in South Australia. This jihadist was a member of the terrorist organisation Egyptian Islamic Jihad, which merged with al Qaeda in 2001, many years before his arrival by boat.

With an average of 100 people now arriving every day, Australia cannot afford three more years of Labor failure.

If elected, a Coalition Government will take urgent action to stop the boats.

From day one of a Coalition Government, we will begin the work of securing our country’s borders.

We will:

-  Re-introduce temporary protection visas – and take away the people smugglers’ promise of permanent resettlement and family reunion in Australia.

-  Turn boats around where it is safe to do so.                                             

-  Ensure vigorous offshore processing.                                                   

-  Ensure offshore, special humanitarian visa applicants receive priority in obtaining permanent residency over illegal boat arrivals.

-  Work closely with our neighbours to put in place a strong regional deterrence network to stop people coming into the region.

 The Coalition will stop the boats. 

Stopping the boats is part of the Coalition’s Plan for a safe and secure Australia.