Bill's Transcripts



SUBJECT/S: Abbott Government blaming the Navy for its border protection failings.

BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: This is an incredibly serious matter today. Scott Morrison should stop blaming the Navy and our hard working service personnel for failures in Government policy. All Australians have the greatest respect for our armed services. It is not acceptable for Scott Morrison and the Abbott Government to be blaming the Navy for problems in the Abbott Government’s policies in terms of boat people. It is not on, and Australians will not stand for the Australian Navy being blamed for mistakes being made through Abbott Government policies.

JOURNALIST: Do you not admire their honesty?

SHORTEN: The honesty of who?

JOURNALIST: Of the Government for admitting [inaudible]

SHORTEN: I’m sorry but when you’ve got damage being done to the relationship with Indonesia, when you’ve got an incident that occurred on Wednesday, as I understand, and you have the Immigration Minister saying on Wednesday that there’d been no crossing of any borders when in fact at the time he’s speaking borders had been crossed - this is not an honest Government, they’ve broken their promises. The Government is getting itself deeper and deeper into trouble because its policies are not transparent, because they’re breaking the promise they made before the election.  The Prime Minister Abbott and Scott Morrison both said before the election that they would tell Australians on a weekly basis at least, good, bad or in-between news.  The Government has been forced to admit it’s got problems with its policies and now they’re trying to blame the Navy. So no I don’t respect what this Government’s doing in terms of trying to blame the Navy for their policies.

JOURNALIST: How many times do you think this might have happened under a Labor Government?


SHORTEN: Well first of all we’re dealing with a Liberal Government who promised  before the election they would be transparent, they are not owning up to what is happening, they’re not being straight with the Australian people. Scott Morrison’s arrogance is damaging our relationship with Indoensia, I don’t think anyone seriously debates that.  And now what we see is that they are going to try and blame the Navy for implementing Abbott Government policies which are causing more problems than they are solving.

JOURNALIST: [Inaudible]

SHORTEN: Let me be very clear, Labor does not believe the Navy should be blamed for Abbott Government policies. All Australians have the greatest respect for the efforts of our service people and we will not allow them to be blamed for Abbott Government policies. The Abbott Government should stop breaking its promises about being transparent, and just be straight with the Australian people. Tell Australian people what’s really going on and then I will think we’ll see an improvement overall.