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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript - 23277

Doorstop Interview, Sydney

Photo of Abbott, Tony

Abbott, Tony

Period of Service: 18/09/2013 to 15/09/2015

More information about Abbott, Tony on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 23/02/2014

Release Type: Transcript

Transcript ID: 23277

Subject(s): Operation Sovereign Borders.

Location: Sydney

QUESTION:

How did Scott Morrison get the information on Manus Island so wrong?

PRIME MINISTER:

Scott Morrison was very clear when he spoke about Manus Island during the week that he was providing the information that we had at the time. Subsequently, further information came to light and he was very upfront about that last night, but the point I want to make about Scott Morrison is that he is an absolutely outstanding Minister; he’s doing a great job for our country. You don’t want a wimp running border protection, you want someone who is strong, who is decent and Scott Morrison is both strong and decent.

QUESTION:

How can we oversee Manus Island if we’ve had misreports all week? How can we possibly guarantee that we’re going to get the right story at the end of the day?

PRIME MINISTER:

The important thing is that we are stopping the boats, we are ending the deaths. We are stopping the border protection costs blowouts that existed under the former government. Now, this is what the Australian people expect of their government, this is what this Government is delivering and Scott Morrison is the Minister who is delivering it and I think he’s doing an absolutely sterling job. It’s a difficult job, but it’s a sterling one.

QUESTION:

Is the Manus Island system working?

PRIME MINISTER:

It was a very serious riot involving – so I believe – hundreds of people. It was a very, very serious riot. The interesting thing is that despite the seriousness of the riot, there was very little damage unlike an earlier riot in Nauru, unlike an earlier riot at Villawood. There was very little damage and by the next morning the centre was operating, people were being fed, housed and clothed. Now, obviously you would rather not have riots, but if there are riots they have to be dealt with and this one was dealt with.

QUESTION:

Who was it that gave Scott Morrison the incorrect information in the first place?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well, as soon as we had information we provided it. We are in the business of providing information to the Australian public as quickly as we can. We’re not in the business of providing information which is of benefit only to those who would break our laws and who would breach our border security, but certainly when significant things happen, people are informed as quickly as we can. If we subsequently learn more, subsequently more is said.

[ends]

Transcript - 23277