Coalition will cut refugee boats to 'three a year'
From: The Australian
August 21, 2010 12:00AM
TONY Abbott has staked his political credibility on the claim he will get unauthorised boat arrivals down to three a year if elected today.
Mr Abbott rejected claims he was over-promising with the pledge, claiming the three boats a year promise was achievable.
But he stopped short of putting either his job or his immigration spokesman Scott Morrison's job on the line if the objective were not achieved.
“I know if we don't succeed we will be very harshly judged by the Australian people at the next election, that's what elections are about.
“Elections are an opportunity for people to cast judgment on the competence or otherwise of the incumbent government,” he said.
“The Coalition stopped the boats before and we can stop the boats again; what we need to stop the boats is the right policies.”
The Opposition Leader has repeatedly promised he would “stop the boats” and yesterday said he hoped there would be a noticeable change in boat arrivals within three months of an Abbott government's election.
Mr Abbott said that under the Howard government there were on average three boats a year but “under the current government . . . there's been three boats a week”.
“If I can achieve three boats a year as opposed to three boats a week I think the Australian public would have every reason to be grateful.”
In his final press conference of the campaign, Mr Abbott countered Labor's line that he was a risk, arguing it was a greater risk. “The only risk is that a really bad government will get a second chance it doesn't deserve.”
By sacking it's own leader the government had effectively voted “no confidence” in itself.
He warned that Julia Gillard had a secret plan for a carbon price and an “electricity tax”.
Mr Abbott promised to deliver “people power” in schools and hospitals and to transform Australia from a welfare state to an opportunity society.
Related Coverage :
Scare tactics rule the last day Adelaide Now, 2 days ago
Abbott vows to cut boats to 3 a year The Australian, 2 days ago
Claws out for end game Herald Sun, 3 days ago
Boats the top priority, says PM Herald Sun, 6 days ago
Stopping boats priority – Gillard Courier Mail, 6 days ago