Abbott wants to reopen the failed Howard Pacific solution at Nauru

Posted on August 7, 2010


Failed policies and cheap politics offer no solutions

Rehashing failed border protection policies from the past was more about playing cheap politics than offering credible solutions, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans said today.

‘Today the Opposition has repackaged and reannounced a number of failed policies,’ Senator Evans said.

‘There is nothing new, there is nothing credible and there is nothing practical in its announcement which offers a solution to the challenges confronting Australia.

‘It is a tricky document which uses deliberatively deceptive figures and graphs to suggest there is a simple solution to a complex global issue.

‘Mr Abbott won’t defend his policy as being one which solves the problem of unauthorised boat arrivals because he knows that there is no silver bullet and that his policy will not fix the problem.’

Senator Evans said a return to the failed Pacific Solution and Temporary Protection Visas were not credible solutions.

‘Temporary Protection Visas are a cruel hoax. They do not work and they do not stop the boats,’ Senator Evans said.

‘After the Howard Government introduced TPVs in 1999, nearly 8500 people arrived by boat and more than 90 per cent of these people are now living in Australia.

‘The Pacific Solution also failed, with more than 70 per cent of those detained on Nauru and Manus Island ultimately being settled in Australia or elsewhere.

Senator Evans said under the Howard Government only seven boats were returned and no boats were turned back after 2003.

‘In light of the stated attitude of Indonesia’s Foreign Minister, it is a nonsense to expect that Indonesia is going to accept boats turned around by Australia,’ he said.

Tony Abbott doesn’t even realise that Refugees currently take part in English lessons or participate in work for the dole programmes on the same bases as anyone else.

Not only has Tony Abbott failed to consult, causing division within his own party, but he has repackaged old measures that have failed. There is clear evidence that they have failed and this is nothing more than cheap politics from Tony Abbott.

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