Tony Abbott to reintroduce protection visas for asylum seekers

| 28.04,12. 04:44 AM |



Tony Abbott to reintroduce protection visas for asylum seekers

TONY Abbott has pledged that if elected prime minister he would call a double dissolution election if the parliament blocks a move to reintroduce temporary protection visas for asylum seekers.

In a speech this morning to the Institute of Public Affairs in Melbourne, the Opposition Leader said that on his first day as PM, he would "pick up the phone to the President of Nauru to accept Nauru's bi-partisan, standing offer to reopen the detention centre there''.

"Within a week of taking office, I would go to Indonesia to renew our cooperation against people smuggling,'' he said.

"I would, of course, politely explain to the Indonesian government that we take as dim a view of Indonesian boats disgorging illegal arrivals in Australia as they take of Australians importing drugs into Bali.

"Within a week of taking office, I would give new orders to the Navy that, where it is safe to do so, under the usual chain-of-command procedures, based on the advice of commanders-on-the-spot, Indonesian flagged, Indonesian crewed and Indonesian home-ported vessels without lawful reason to be headed to Australia would be turned around and escorted back to Indonesian waters.''

Mr Abbott said temporary visas for illegal boat arrivals would be re-created, "if necessary by legislation, in the unlikely event that legislation is blocked, by a joint sitting of the parliament after a double dissolution election''.

The Opposition Leader was applauded when he said the coalition would "never support'' the Gillard Government's proposed Malaysia people-swap deal, which he described as a "bad deal for Australia'', and a "cruel deal for boat people''


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