Transcript

Peter Dutton address to the National Press Club of Australia, Canberra: 21 February 2018

21 Feb 2018
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Australians may be cynical towards their politicians, but they pay on results. And in this portfolio we have delivered impressive results.

We promised to implement a plan to secure our borders and to keep Australians safe and we have delivered on that promise.

In four short years we reduced the number of children Labor put in to detention centres from 8000 to zero. Labor opened 17 detention centres, we have closed them. We have not had a successful people smuggling venture in more than 1300 days, meaning the deaths at sea have stopped. 1200 innocent people drowned under Labor. Labor put people on Manus and Nauru and we are getting them off.

We promised to make Australians safer and we have delivered. On my watch, the Government has cancelled the visas of over 3000 dangerous criminals, including 61 murderers, 135 rapists, 260 child sex offenders and 170 criminal motorcycle gang members. We have cancelled five times more visas of non-citizen criminals in the past two years than Labor did in their entire six years in Government. In doing so we have made suburbs like Albany Creek, Strathpine and Dayboro; in fact every suburb across the country a safer place.

That success in working with the eight police services to identify the top criminals holding visas and through 16 agencies working together under Operation Sovereign Borders was the catalyst for the creation of the Home Affairs Department, bringing our national security, intelligence and emergency management agencies into one seamless effort.

Australia has had Home Affairs departments in various forms since Federation in 1901, but none has had the focus nor faced the challenges of the portfolio I now have the honour to lead. Our organisation consists of 23,500 people who share our desire for a safe and secure Australia and I am extremely proud of their work.

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2018
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