Given the clear and widening divisions within the Australian Labor Party over border protection policies, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten must tell the Australian people exactly where his party stands on this crucial policy area.
Australians know that the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd Governments promised to maintain the Howard-era border protection policies that stopped the boats, but then systematically dismantled those policies with disastrous results for Australia.
No one can forget the almost daily arrival of another people smuggler boat during the Labor years which delivered more than 50,000 illegal maritime arrivals (IMAs) to Australia.
Can Mr Shorten assure the Australian people that Labor won’t let that happen again?
It has long been clear that Labor’s Left do not support Mr Shorten’s position and they are now moving to overturn it.
Mr Shorten must answer these questions –
Does Labor support the three limbs of the Turnbull Government’s Operation Sovereign Borders?
Will Labor support Temporary Protection Visas?
Will Labor continue boat turn backs?
Will it maintain regional processing?
Does Mr Shorten support Labor’s 2013 position that no IMAs in Manus or Nauru will ever settle in Australia?
Given Mr Rudd’s comments yesterday and those of prominent Labor frontbencher and leadership aspirant Anthony Albanese today, Mr Shorten owes it to the Australian people to explain clearly where Labor stands.