Matter of Public Importance - Law Enforcement

Matters Of Public Importance

Law Enforcement

Ms SWANSON (Paterson): Let's just call out this shameful episode for what it is: this is an opposition that is, quite frankly, devoid of ideas, devoid of any kind of policy and devoid of direction. What they are doing is making a pitiful attempt to claw and draw attention to what is an incredibly serious situation. We know that no Australian should ever live in fear in their own home, whether it be from someone who is pretending to be an officer of the law or whether it be someone that they're in an intimate relationship with. It is an awful set of events to watch a woman on the television with a face blackened and bruised. The only thing that is worse than that is watching an opposition make hay from it in the media. It is truly despicable. The fact that it is again being brought up in parliament as a matter of public importance today to try and make political points off this, really is the nub of this matter today.

I only have to look across the chamber and see barely a handful of people here. If this opposition were so hell-bent on drawing this matter to public importance, they would all be here, but they aren't. The issue is this: they love nothing more than to light the flame under a pool of fear and watch those flames rise because they know that when Australian people are worried and nervous that it somehow draws power to them.

Let me say that people like the member for Higgins, who spoke today, are a complete contrast to that argument. She gave calming words and said, 'Australia can be better and bigger than the xenophobic, paltry debate that we've heard from those opposite today.' It truly belittles and littles us as a country when people are trying to score politically from things that aren't good but should be treated with so much more strength and dignity.

I can't help but think for members newly elected on the other side, when they speak about our government and what we've done, knowing that we have been in government for two years and we have not abolished any of the Border Force protections they proclaim that we have. In their term of government, when boats did arrive—and they did—we didn't hear about them because they conveniently described them as on-water matters. It was never spoken of. They weren't transparent. And somehow, by the cover of darkness and deceit, they thought they were getting away with that. Well, they weren't.

Australians need to remember that when we came to government there was a one million application backlog in immigration that our government has had to deal with. There was so much work that was just left undone or ignored because, quite frankly, they don't real care about keeping our borders secure. What they care about is their own positions of power. By setting fear off in the Australian public, they perceive that they can keep that power.

Well, we're not fearmongering. We're over here responsibly and diligently setting the policy, doing the work and working within the parameters of the law. Incidentally, some of those laws they put in place and they have been found wanting by the High Court. What we are doing here is providing sensible, stable government. We know there are challenges. We know there is difficulty. The world is in a perilous state in many parts of it and people do seek asylum and it is a challenge and it is difficult. But rather than just trying to create this smog of fear, we are diligently, responsibly working through the challenges that we face. We are doing our best, and our best is so much better than what those opposite could ever offer.

I say to the Australian people: it isn't easy, but we are working hard for you, we are keeping you safe and we want Australia to be a safe and secure nation.

You can watch the video by clicking the video above or this link here