Over the past two years of pandemic, the Australian Government took the important decision to close our international border to non-citizens and non-residents.
This decision, combined with the effective health and economic response, has been an integral part of saving lives and livelihoods from COVID-19.
In comparison to Australia, on a per capita basis, countries like the UK and USA have had around 10 times the number of COVID-19 deaths.
The quarantine system, put together by states and territories with the Australian Government, facilitated around 470,000 passengers (predominantly returning Australians), with a 99.9% effectiveness rate in stopping the transmission of the virus.
With our international border now reopened, the Morrison Government continues to ensure the strong protection of Australia’s borders.
Labor has a record of failure when it comes to border protection. After the last Labor Government dismantled Australia’s border security policies:
- Over 50,000 people arrived on over 800 boats.
- There were 1,200 deaths at sea (that we know of).
- Over 8,000 children were in detention.
- 17 detention centres needed to open.
The cost of Labor losing control of our borders is $17 billion and counting.
Our effective policies, first enacted by Scott Morrison as Immigration Minister, include:
- Regional processing;
- Temporary Protection Visas (which deny people smugglers a product to sell);
- boat turn-backs when it is safe to do so.
Each of these policies is necessary, to protect our borders and deny people smugglers a product to sell.
Stopping the boats has enabled the Government to close 19 detention centres and remove all children from detention.
The Government is now spending a billion dollars less, every year, on onshore detention arrangements than when we came into office.
We repealed Labor’s reckless ‘Medevac’ laws, which undermined our strong border protection regime.
CANCELLING VISAS OF CRIMINALS
There’s no place in Australia for people who come here and harm Australians.
We have increased the Minister’s power to cancel visas for non-citizens convicted of a serious crime. This has resulted in a 12-fold increase in visa cancellations.
Between December 2014 and February 2022, the Government cancelled or refused the visas of over 10,200 dangerous criminals.
This includes: 219 for murder; 485 for rape or sexual assault; 807 child sex offenders; 512 for armed robbery; and 1,756 for drug offences.
The Morrison Government will continue to seek to toughen the character test to allow visa cancellations where a non-citizen has been convicted of violent offences, weapons offences, breaching of an apprehended violence order (or similar) or non-consensual sexual acts, even when the sentence is less than 12 months.
This would help keep the community safe from foreign criminals who have been convicted of violent and sexual crimes.
CANCELLING CITIZENSHIP FOR TERRORIST CONDUCT (DUAL NATIONALS)
The Liberal and Nationals Government has passed legislation to revoke the citizenship of any dual-national who engages in terrorism. This includes foreign fighters who seek to return here.
To date, under the Coalition’s citizenship cancellation laws, 22 dual nationals have ceased to hold Australian citizenship as a result of their engagement in terrorist conduct.
STOPPING DRUGS AT THE BORDER
The Government is working to stop drugs at their source.
Between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2021, the Australian Federal Police stopped over 49 tonnes of illegal drugs from reaching Australian streets. This includes: over five tonnes of methamphetamine; over five tonnes of cocaine; and nearly one tonne of heroin.
The Liberal and Nationals Government has sent drug offenders packing. Between December 2014 and February 2022, we have cancelled or refused the visas of 1,756 people for drug offences.
Information current as at April 2022