Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has used an appearance in Tasmania to reaffirm his government's tough stance on asylum seekers, saying only the coalition has what it takes to secure Australia's borders.
Addressing Liberal Party faithful in Launceston, Turnbull said the government's approach to border protection contrasted to Labor's "catastrophic and tragic" policy on the issue.
"The difference is that the Australian government, the representatives of the Australian people, determine which refugees come to Australia. We don't outsource that choice to people smugglers like Labor did," Turnbull told the event.
The comments come after the Turnbull Government's recent announcement of a tougher approach on asylum seekers, with plans to ban 'boat people' from ever getting Australian visas of any kind.
The controversial new proposals would see asylum seekers outlawed from setting foot in Australia permanently even if they turn out to be genuine refugees. The ban would apply to any adult dispatched to Manus Island or Nauru since July 2013.
The plan follows last month's release of the Amnesty International report Island of Despair, which was highly critical of current border protection policy.
That report followed a UN report that raised questions about Nauru's treatment of asylum seeker children, finding children in Nauru faced big risks due to being held in the controversial facilities.
"Asylum seeking and refugee children face significant physical and developmental risks as a result of living in cramped, humid and life-threatening conditions in the Regional Processing Centres," the UN said at the time.Suggest a correction