Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton. Picture: AAP Image/Glenn Hunt
Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton. Picture: AAP Image/Glenn Hunt

Dutton vow to stay tough on borders stance

HOME Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has used his visit to Townsville to spruik the Coalition's border security policy, claiming Herbert MP Cathy O'Toole, if re-elected, would pressure a Labor government to weaken those laws.

Mr Dutton said the Coalition would continue its tough stance on border security and refugees arriving by boat.

"Labor it seems at the moment are doing everything they can to get the boats restarted," he said.

"This government will continue our success with Operation Sovereign Borders."

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, during the third leaders debate on Wednesday night said Labor, like the Coalition, wants to discourage people coming here by boat and being exploited by people smugglers.

"But in terms of the remaining people on Manus and Nauru, if I was elected your prime minister, we would put as much effort as we humanly could to resettle them," he said.

"I don't accept that the corollary of strong borders is indefinite detention."

Mr Dutton confirmed an LNP government would repeal the bill that makes it easier for sick refugees on Manus Island and Nauru to seek medical transfers.

The Coalition spent $185 million reopening an immigration detention centre on Christmas Island only to close it again, defending the decision as a "deterrent to people who would try to game the system".