Tony Abbott says he will soon announce more measures to combat people smuggling after Labor and the Greens scuttled TPVs.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott says his government will never allow people who come to Australia illegally by boat to gain permanent residency in Australia.
Mr Abbott has launched an attack on Labor and the Greens for teaming up in the Senate to scuttle temporary protection visas (TPVs) – a key plank of the coalition’s asylum seeker policy.
“Having damaged our country in government, Labor and the Greens are now trying to continue to damage from opposition,” the prime minister told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.
Mr Abbott says the government will soon announce more measures aimed at stopping the asylum seeker boats.
“This government will never allow people who come here illegally by boat to gain permanent residency in Australia,” he said.
He said his message to people smugglers and asylum seekers was simple: “You should not come, because you will not stay.”
He says boat arrivals are down almost 90 per cent since the election.
“You should not come here because you will not stay,” Mr Abbott said in a direct message to people smugglers and their clients.
He said Labor, by its actions on TPVs in the Senate, had given “two fingers to the people of Australia” and were trying to govern from opposition.
He complimented Immigration Minister Scott Morrison on his work to stop the asylum seeker boats and improve border security.
Mr Abbott also advised that the joint party room on Tuesday had approved a bill related to “complimentary protection visas”.
The government would be making a further announcement, he added, stressing it was not about TPVs.
“We will be making an announcement shortly,” Mr Abbott said.
Mr Abbott was asked whether his new measures would affect Australia’s participation in the United Nations Refugee Convention.
“We do respect the Refugee Convention but we think it’s important that it be dealt with properly,” he said.
“And we’ll have more to say on this in the days and weeks ahead.”