Tony Thomas on the Clinton Foundation and Gillard's Global Partnership for Education
Reconciling Australian taxpayer funded Clinton Foundation donations

Two years since "Turnbull" stopped the boats - UPDATED with video of Turnbull fighting Abbott on stopping the boats



Malcolm Turnbull checking out the maritime charts because of the success of Tony Abbott's towbacks that Turnbull now takes credit for.

Thanks to Underminder for the reminder on Turnbull's previous position on this issue.

Remember when Malcolm went through the leather jacket period?  I think he kept a spare one in his locker at the Q and A studios for his regular appearances bagging Tony Abbott. 

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Coalition asylum seeker policy: Abbott dismisses Turnbull's doubts on turning back boats

Updated 11 Jun 2013, 1:07pm

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has brushed aside questions about his policy to turn back asylum seeker boats after his frontbencher Malcolm Turnbull said it may be unsafe to do so.

On last night's Q&A program, Mr Turnbull said it may be unsafe to take boats back to Indonesian territorial waters without the agreement of the Indonesian government.

Representatives of the Indonesian government, including its Ambassador to Australia, have repeatedly rejected the plan.

"You can only return boats when it is safe to do so," Mr Turnbull said last night, adding that if Indonesia did not agree to take them back "that may render it unsafe to do so".

But when the comments were put to Mr Abbott this morning, he said: "I don't accept the premise of the question.

"Obviously, we do want to have a very strong relationship with Indonesia.

"I see no reason why a future Coalition government can't have the same strong and constructive relationship with Indonesia that the Howard government had and that's what I'll be working towards from day one."

Mr Abbott added that "a willingness to turn boats around where it was safe to do so" was one of the key reasons the Howard government succeeded in reducing the number of asylum seeker boats.

"The people smugglers know that the game will be up under a Coalition government," Mr Abbott said.

Mr Turnbull also said last night the policy would not work if it was enacted through "megaphone diplomacy".


Turnbull has form for destabilising Tony Abbott's position on asylum seeker boats.

Listen to Tony Abbott's statesmanship in the face of this hectoring interview.  And why was there drama for Lisa Wilkinson to make merry with?  Turnbull.

When Wilson Tuckey correctly pointed out that terrorists would be among the numbers of refugees flooding in to Australia, Turnbull (as then opposition leader to Rudd) criticised him and "pulled Mr Tuckey back into line".


And here's the smartest man in the room talking about push factors, pull factors and assorted other waffle that would magically stop the boats.  Somehow.  Because it was complex as opposed to that simpleton Tony Abbott's "Stop The Boats" slogan.


PS - First outing for "secure borders" as the foundation of our multicultural society post election.

Sorry "mutual respect" to see you warehoused again.

Secure borders and a well-managed migration system are the bedrock of confidence on which our successful multicultural society is built.