on air now

‘This bill does absolutely nothing to weaken border security’: Opposition defends policy changes

Changes to Australia’s border policy have passed through parliament, as the government warns this will lead to more illegal boat arrivals.

Senior Labor MPs are continuing to defend changes to the policy, which gives doctors a greater say over whether sick asylum seekers should be transferred to Australia.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced he will reopen the Christmas Island detention facility, ahead of the changes, to deal with a potential influx of illegal boat arrivals.

The Opposition’s Anthony Albanese tells Chris Smith checks and balances are in place.

“This is merely codifying something that the government itself says is happening now.”

And it has Chris questioning, “why touch it then?”.

“If we’re sending people who really need [help] to Australia already, why make a big deal of it, and why create a symbol that says we’re going to get even kinder?”

But Mr Albanese maintains “this bill does nothing, absolutely nothing, to weaken our border security”.

“[It] makes sure if there are people who are in genuine medical need, then they will receive that assistance.

“The minister will still have power over this process.”

Mr Albanese denies the law will send signals for the boats to come.

“The one thing that has not changed is the fact that anyone who gets on a boat today, not one thing has changed for them.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview