One of Australia’s great achievements has been to maintain an immigration program that serves our national needs.
I was reminded of this by the recent visit to Menzies by my friend and colleague, Peter Dutton, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection.
Peter spoke to a sell-out dinner at Eastern Court Restaurant in Templestowe on Monday evening.
Under the Howard government, and the present government, we have stopped the boats, the drownings at sea and the incarceration of young people, and restored confidence in the immigration program.
This is important, as it gives Australians confidence to take our quota of refugees, of which there are tens of millions in the world.
Last week, I spoke in the Parliament about the most recent refugees, the Rohingya people fleeing from Myanmar. In the past few weeks, more than 300,000 people have fled the country, creating yet another humanitarian challenge.
As a friend of and aid donor to Myanmar which I visited recently, Australia can use its influence to help resolve the crisis and put in place a longer term settlement of the long-running conflict.