Shorten’s turnback policy a “Captain’s Call”: creates Labor furore 256



View Profile

The Labor Party conference kicks off today amid furore that Bill Shorten’s backflip in recent days came as a surprise to his opposition teammates – and it has everyone talking about his dire political position. Do you believe that a party leader should be able to take a firm stance on a policy that goes against traditional party stance and to speak about it without unity of the party behind him?

It comes as political popularity of both our major leaders hits an all time low, slumping in this week’s Newspoll which has Abbott’s approval rating at 33 per cent and Shorten at 29 per cent and dissatisfaction ratings of both leaders at an all time high of 60 per cent for Abbott and 59 per cent for Shorten.

But the real debate today sits with Mr Shorten who controversially changed positions in recent days on the Coalition policy to turn back the boats, agreeing with the Liberal Party’s stance. He had previously spend much time criticising the Coalition for their stance.

According to the ABC, Bill Shorten is preparing to firm up Labor’s plans to double Australia’s refugee intake, in a move that is expected to quell some of the internal discontent over his decision to endorse the Government’s policy to turn back asylum seeker boats.

“I think it’s important to be honest with my party and the nation and, if I was to form a government, I would want the option of boat turn-backs — where safe to do so — on the table,” Mr Shorten told Channel 7 this morning.

It is now an issue to confront the 400 attendees at the Labor conference who seem to be rather enraged in the media for not being consulted prior to the policy change.

It comes at a time when new poll results are out calling that Mr Shorten’s popularity has fallen heavily and that voters would prefer his deputy Tanya Plibersek as the leader of the party.

Labor has long been in opposition to the Coalition’s firm stance on refugees. They took a humanitarian intake of 20,000 people per year to the last election and for consideration this weekend by the party is a proposal  to “aspire” to progressively increase the intake to 27,000 places a year.

That would be close to double the existing 13,750-place intake under the Coalition government.

The ABC says the matter is only likely to go to a vote if those opposed to the policy put forward a specific ban on turn-backs, which the group Labor for Refugees has flagged doing.

Labor’s Left faction reaffirmed its opposition to turning back asylum seeker boats after a lengthy meeting in Melbourne this afternoon.

Is Shorten in trouble for his big Captain’s Call this week? The latest poll numbers, and sparking a debate like this looks like a dangerous thing to do… Your thoughts?

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. Bad move but as a labor person I lobby from within. Liberal policy on this has outrage Australians and it will be one of the major reasons they get voted out. For labor to take the same policy is outrageous

    24 REPLY
    • According to sane Australians we can’t afford anymore freeloaders , and I beg to differ, LNP policy is favoured by majority. I prefer to look after our people in need, AND if half the population are on welfare where will the money come from to keep these MEN as they seem to be mainly men on boats, will marry have 4 wives, many kids and get a few thousand a fortnight .

    • where is your proof of this Dawn Bruce ?, it is illegal in Australia to marry more than one woman. Anyone can say they like but give us proof

    • David James There was a scruffy Muslim on TV recently AND the press were trying to talk to him, he was going beserck. one of his wives tried to stop him. THEY then outlined THEIR entitlements . Illegal for Australians NOT for Muslims as it is their religion. I heard S Morrison say the other day it is something they have to look into Why not go to Centrelink & look it up ??? This man had 3 wives, 3 houses and 7 kids AND he had HIS own home, They showed us each GOVT house.

    • Dawn I really think that is very backward thinking. My parent in laws are themselves migrants. They where hard working people and from what I see from many asylum seekers they are too. I do not judge a person on there religion or culture. In my past career I worked with long term unemployed people and I would say that the majority of them where from Anglo white Australian backgrounds. And many of them grew up with parents who themselves where long term unemployed and they really didn’t want a job. Those asylum seekers many of them had high educations doctors engineers and so on would take any job such as sweeping our streets and cleaning our rubbish up. Your rationalization of one person on TV to give example just goes to prove that you have put them all into the same basket. And I’d like to ask which TV station was it channel 7 9or10 they are garbage reporters they are IN Abbotts pocket to scaremongering the population to FEAR these people. I wouldn’t waist my time on these programs there are far more educative programs and newspaper to read that actually report the TRUTH

    • It is truth , Muslims Have the highest rate of unemployment , after 5 years the rate is 62% AND Muslims can have as many wives as they like , as it is their religion. only illegal for Australians , GO to centreline & check. You are talking about prior immigrants who wanted to come,& paid, got nothing, worked hard, ASSIMILATED adopted our way of life, NEVER forced their ways on us. Never heard them whinging like these do. They think they ARE so above us, and expect us to do as they say. !!!!

    • OMG Bea Little, you really believe what you are saying. The t.v. channels are all in Mr. Abbott’s pockets and where does this come from, if you really look at things with both your eyes open you would see that ALL t.v. channels except the ABC are seeing both sides of politics with their eyes more open than ever. They still don’t give Mr. Abbott a fair go or Mr. Morrison but they do how ever get into Mr. Shorten and Miss Plavasec. I saw a report a few weeks ago about a Muslim guy who had 4 wives and was ripping off the welfare system and they were trying to find him to take it further, so Dawn wasn’t the only one that saw this too. Dawn you are so right, we can not afford to take any more refugees as our system can not sustain those of our own let alone any more. They have to stop all immigration for at least 10 years as the baby boomers are starting to retire and believe me they ALL do not have huge supers to live off. The hospitals, and aged care facilities will not be able to cope with the influx so something has to be done and done now or boy we will be in the crapper sooner rather than later.

    • I don’t think turning the boats back has outraged Australia at all. It’s only the vocal minority that get the publicity that we hear from. Go down the pub and ask anyone there from the town drunk to silver tails and you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who wants boat people to come and live here.

    • Bea Little, do you make any contribution towards these thousands that enter this country illegally? Let us look after our own first, then we can assist others that come through the proper channels.I do not like seeing our people living on the streets whilst these boat people get every thing and still cry for more,try and sort their own countries out.

    • I don’t watch anything but local news (just our area) and if we do have the main news on we mute it!! The one thing I have noticed is in allvthe countries most of our refugees come from you very rarely see the old, female or children being rounded up to to either beheaded or just disappear? If I lived in one of these countries I would do everything in my power to get them out? Why would these countries be any different? They come to Australia/America and the UK as we were the ones that rode into some of those countries like the cavalry to stop “weapons of mass destruction”! So, as I have said previously, walk a mile in their shoes”?

    • So true Libby compassion and a bit of empathy would go down a little better that contempt

    • As this is over 60s Most people on here don’t pay tax, so they really shouldn’t have a say, It should be those that WORK , as these Centres cost millions, and Welfare also. Alright for Politicians they earn plenty of money, let them PAY. .

    • NO , if you don’t contribute to taxes you shouldn’t be allowed to spend BILLIONS on country shoppers .

    • Libby English your comment above does not make sense can not really make head more tail of it…..if you look at most of the boats that come here, they are full of MEN and none of them look weak, sick or distressed….the women and children are left back in their country to be bought out here after the men are settled. If ANY are rounded up and killed it is because these people have no respect for women and children. The older ones stay back with the women and children to look after them until the men send for them.

    • Dawn, we all pay tax. It’s called the GST. You just had to stick you ill-informed bib in this discussion . . Don’t even think about trying to divide people on the basis of who’s working and who isn’t. The LNP are doing enough of a job on that as it is.

    • dawn bruce uuum over sixty means most peoplke on here have worked there bum off now trying to enjoy retirment so i dont think they should shut up they paid there way not like the people on boats and most nof them are men who we should put in uniform and send back to defend there country not our boys

    • Yes Judith all young men from countries we invaded, because of “weapons of mass destruction”, leaving these countries destitute. No guns etc to defend themselves? And yet when all different factions start to move in they round up the young men and youths. They are never seen again or star in some of the most horrific videos, either being beheaded or their brains shot out!! As i said, if my sons where there I would move heaven and earth to get them out! Mostly the elderly the very young and females are left alone. Upto yet they are not considered a threat!! Reading the news and the occasional times we watch the news the real threat comes from people coming in “legally”, and from homes of middle to upper class Australians? It is people that deny this that make no sense to me?

    • Dawn maybe then you are on the wrong site? I am sure there are plenty out there that support people that pay taxes……..I’m on quite a few as my husband and I pay tax and quite a lot actually. What a shame we cant give direction to where our tax $ goes??

    • Yes Libby I pay a fortune In Taxes and as far as keeping quiet bugger that I’ve worked hard all my life paid my taxes and even if I wasn’t paying now I think that at least gives me the right to have an opinion. What because I don’t pay taxes now I’m suppose to act dead or eat humble pie . Nope not ready for the grave and until I am I see that I have every right to voice my opinions about how public spending should be handed out.

    • Agree with Libby and Bea Arthur and David and Patrick because I don’t think anyone should shutting up either

    • I dont know what planet Dawn lives on to say people over 60 dont work. Remember we started work at 14 and 15 and paid taxes. so we cant have an opinion because we are over 60. get a life

  2. I am not happy either but I will still vote Labor, it will be no different to what we are seeing now with Abbot but I sure hope there will be less secrecy

  3. The Libs and labour are the same. both financed by the same corporations.They should form a coalition called the Labs…if you want clean politics… Vote green.

    6 REPLY
    • yes vone green,open up the borders to any one who has the money to fly to indonesia, pay smugglers, get on a boat and throw away all the papers so no one can tell where your from

    • I don’t need to write it now you have Steven Bradshaw agree with you, I would like to see them gone….

    • Rick and Stephen…. You obviously don’t care that both main parties are financed by big corporations and have to deliver outcome for them first, and Australian people second…. As long as they keep being cruel on asylum seekers, you are ok with all the corruption on both sides!! And by the way! Most crooks today come through the airport, not by leaky boats… They bribe their way in…. Donate more money to political fundraiser and stay in… No one is saying let’s open the door to every one?.. But asses people with dignity…. If they are refugees, deal with them as refugees, if they are not, then them back. It does not bother you that it cost us ,the tax payers ,millions more to send them to our poorest neighbours to be assessed than it would if we did it ourselves . This government label them illegal before assessing them, it is not illegal to be a refugee. The fact that NO ONE is allowed to report on what is going on in those camps should really worry all of us.Our political system is corrupt, too much dirty money in politics….when coal mines are approved on prime farm land, when gas is sold overseas for a fraction of what we, Australians ,can buy it etc…. It is a sign at things are NOT right in our country. In regard to the greens, they stopped hugging trees a long time ago… Do yourself a favour and go and check out what they stand for.

    • Heh,there is a lot wrong with our political,& the Greens are one of them most of them still doing apprenticeship of life…

    • If the greens had control we would be stuffed. Tax payers would be smashed to fund their policies, such as allowing more refugees in, which will cost. Those on welfare would be better off and tax payers would be bent over. Thankfully in the Blue Mountains we have a council at the moment with no greens and it would be great if the greens disappeared at all levels of politics like the democrats.

  4. NO way I am voting Liberal, I would have hope for a kinder solution to secrecy and orange life rafts that Abbott has but there are other issues about this Liberal Government I do not like. So I will still be voting ALP

  5. Not happy about this but I think there are a lot of Australians out there who are given Abbott’s scare campaign. I understand these people live in countries that are torn apart and I feel for them but there has to be another way…off shore detention camps are not the answer either!

    2 REPLY
    • I have just watched a video of Muslims running riot in Paris , they just wrecked everything in their path, hundreds of them, French people complaining their lives are GONE,

    • I want to,know why all these men don’t stay and fight their own battles, instead of being gutless and running away.

  6. Only a week or so ago Bill & Marles both were emphatic they would not be stopping the boats , Now his popularity has nose dived AND the numbers FOR stopping the boats are getting bigger , ALP conference Today, changed his mind ! don’t think so , If elected will revert back to his old ways.

    5 REPLY
    • On here most people refer to PM & others in very derogatory terms , Only have to look at the comments on on any LNP person, I did comment recently that NO politician should be treated like that. I couldn’t stand Gillard but never lowered myself to call her names, she was the PM

    • Grow up , I said any LNP person, & others, In fact I have had many vile things said about me , for being a Liberal. and as this sight has become I Belong to ALP, I contacted Admin to find out if it was OK to give an opinion . Answer YES , Never mentioned politician. Cant be bothered anymore , you get my meaning

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *