Immigration and Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton. Photo: Rohan Thomson
New Immigration and Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton has already put his stamp on the job, temporarily ditching the Abbott government's 'stop the boats' mantra in favour of 'stop the bikies'.
In a Facebook post shortly before his swearing in at Government House in Canberra, Mr Dutton said tackling illegal motorcycle gangs was at the top of his to-do list.
"If you're an illegal bikie, if you're part of an outlaw motorcycle gang involved in organised criminal activity, you've just made it to the top of my list," Mr Dutton wrote. Coming to Australia is a privilege and if you're coming here harming Australians, ripping off our welfare system, committing serious crimes, then you're at the top of my list for deporting."
A number of Facebook suggested the Queensland-based Mr Dutton direct his focus towards other areas of the complex portfolio, including the implementation of a suite of measures introduced earlier this year by former immigration minister Scott Morrison, who has now become Minister for Social Services.
Mr Morrison effectively cut off the number of boats making the journey here through hardline policies that include turning back asylum seeker boats, sending asylum seekers to offshore processing centres and, in the latest tactic, ending the option for genuine refugees in Indonesia to ever resettle in Australia.
This month, the Senate passed the Migration Act, which means 30,000 asylum seekers who arrived by boats under the Labor government will be offered temporary protection visas, not permanent visas.
The number of people displaced around the world is also now at its highest level since World War II, with 33.3 million people internally displaced and 16.7 million refugees.
Announcing Mr Dutton's appointment on Sunday, Mr Abbott described the new minister as "a tough, no nonsense individual and he is very well placed to ensure that our borders remain secure and that the boats stay stopped".