Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is ready to sign off on a proposal to reopen an asylum-seeker processing centre on Nauru. However, he is against the Malaysia proposal.
According to the Government, it will reopen Nauru in return for the Opposition’s support on Malaysia. However, government will not reintroduce temporary protection visas.
But speaking in Melbourne, Mr Abbott indicated the parties were likely to be headed for a stalemate.
Mr. Abbott said the coalition would sign off on Nauru ‘here, now’, but would oppose on Malaysia.
“Thank God that at last the Government has finally seen sense and appreciated that Nauru is a vital part of any serious policy to stop the boats,” he said.
“We will give the Government (an) agreement here, now, to reopen Nauru.
“Before the parliament comes back in February, Nauru can be up and running and taking boatpeople and that will send the strongest possible signal to the people smugglers that the game is finally up.”
Commenting on the Malaysia solution, Mr Abbott said the Opposition did not support the policy.
“I think the time for Malaysia has well and truly passed,” he said.
“I don’t think anyone really supports it, half the Australian Labor Party at least hate it, they absolutely hate it and if you’ve got Nauru, you just don’t need Malaysia.”