Anthony Albanese confirms Labor opposes temporary protection visas after earlier confusion

TPVs are issued to asylum seekers who arrive in Australia without a visa and can last up to three years. Holders of these visas are allowed to work and have access to Medicare.

When asked at a press conference in Cairns on Sunday if he supported temporary protection visas, Mr Albanese said ‘yes’.

Shortly after, the Labor leader made an impromptu address to the media to clarify the opposition’s position on TPVs for asylum seekers, saying he did not support them.

“Earlier I heard half the question,” Mr Albanese said. “Labour’s policy is to support Operation Sovereign Borders. We support overseas treatment, we support resettlement in third countries. We do not support temporary protection visas.”


Thusday, if Labor wins the election, it would mean that overseas detention would be pointless.

“We’re going to turn the boats back. Turning the boats back means you don’t need detention at sea,” he said on Thursday morning.

However, he later clarified his position by saying the Labor government would still retain the option of offshore detention centres.

“[We haven’t seen people put in] detention at sea lately because the boats have been turned back. It was [an] efficient [policy]“said Mr. Albanese.


On Sunday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison took the opportunity to highlight his party’s border protection policy, which he claimed Labor had never supported or understood.

Mr Morrison was instrumental in shaping the notoriously tough Operation Sovereign Borders policy in 2013 when he was immigration minister in the Abbott government.

“I wrote [Operation Sovereign Borders] and I implemented it and it worked,” Mr Morrison told reporters on Sunday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison during a press conference at Westmead Children's Hospital in Sydney on day 7 of the election campaign.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison used an Anthony Albanese blunder to attack Labor over its policy on asylum seekers. Source: AAP / MICK TSIKAS/AAPIMAGE

He said there are three elements necessary for a strong border protection policy: boat returns, offshore processing and POS terminals that deny access to permanent residency.

“All three strands are necessary to ensure that we have a strong border protection policy,” he said.

“And I know Labor never believed it. They never supported it. They never understood it – and that’s why they can’t be trusted to keep it.”

The prime minister once had a laser-cut metal block in the shape of an Asian fishing boat in his office that displayed the words, “I quit that.”

A metal sculpture of an Asian fishing boat in Prime Minister Scott Morrison's office, saying he has stopped boats carrying illegal immigrants.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has a laser-cut metal block in the shape of an Asian fishing boat displaying the words: ‘I stopped these’ to celebrate his achievements when he was immigration minister. Source: AAP / LUKAS COCH/AAPIMAGE

The Prime Minister’s and opposition leader’s support for boat pushbacks and detention at sea has drawn criticism from Australian Refugee Council CEO Paul Power, who last week slammed bipartisan support for protection policies borders of “extremely problematic”.

He said the key problem lies in the politicization of an issue that affects people who are forced to return to countries where they risked persecution.

“What we’re seeing are a lot of crocodile tears from Australian political leaders saying, ‘we don’t want people risking their lives at sea trying to enter Australian territory,'” he said. he declares.

“But there is no evidence that either major political party cares about exactly the same people in other situations, during different stages of their journey to Australia.”

Mr Power said he was not surprised by Mr Albanese’s stance on border protection, as it has remained relatively unchanged since 2013 when former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd introduced the policy. He was later asserted in 2015 by the Labor Party while in opposition.

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