RECORD NUMBERS OF AIRPLANE ARRIVALS CLAIM ASYLUM ON PETER DUTTON’S WATCH

08 October 2020

SENATOR THE HON KRISTINA KENEALLY
DEPUTY LABOR LEADER IN THE SENATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES

ANDREW GILES MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR MULTICULTURALISM
SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING THE MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP
MEMBER FOR SCULLIN
 
RECORD NUMBERS OF AIRPLANE ARRIVALS CLAIM ASYLUM ON PETER DUTTON’S WATCH
 
Peter Dutton’s incompetence and recklessness has allowed people smugglers to run riot and traffic record-breaking numbers of people by airplane to Australia with Questions on Notice revealing the number of people arriving in Australia by airplane and claiming asylum reaching 95,943 people since 1 July 2014.
 
A staggering 4,037 airplane arrivals made a claim for protection between 1 July 2019 and 19 August 2019 – that’s an average of 80 people per day.
 
At this rate, the Government is on track for a record-breaking 29,470 asylum claims in the 2019-20 financial year which would be the highest number of asylum claims in any year ever.
 
There’s nothing wrong with claiming asylum – it’s an important right. However, in 90 per cent of these particular cases, the individuals are not legitimate refugees and are often being trafficked to Australia for the explicit purpose of being exploited. 
 
Under this third term Government, the Home Affairs Minister is trying to pretend there is nothing to see here when, in fact, close to 100,000 airplane people have claimed asylum on his watch – double the number that arrived by boat under Labor.
 
Peter Dutton boasts “no one dies on a plane” but the truth is we have no idea how many airplane people may have been critically injured or even died on his watch because of exploitation and slavery that is taking place under his nose.
 
The horticultural industry is crying out for the Liberal National Government to address these concerns because they are acutely aware that rogue operators and labour hire firms are exploiting vulnerable people – particularly in regional Australia.
 
Even Government members, such as the Member for Mallee Dr Anne Webster MP, have called the Government’s failure to address these issues in regional Australia as a “crisis” – what will it take for Peter Dutton to clean up the mess he’s created?
 
On Wednesday 9 October, Labor will host a policy roundtable in Shepparton, Victoria to discuss these ongoing concerns – with a specific focus on regional concerns and impacts on the agriculture and horticulture sector. This follows a policy roundtable in Canberra in August with leading migration and border security experts, former departmental officials, unions, and industry and employer groups.
 
Mr Dutton is obsessed with blaming Labor but he cannot run from his failures to control Australia’s borders which is leading to widespread exploitation, slavery and even sexual servitude across the country.
 
This is a crisis that Peter Dutton is responsible for and it’s past time for the Government to take action.