Share this

The new federal government has launched an investigation into whether a Border Force statement about a Sri Lankan asylum seeker boat, which was followed by an election-day text from the Liberal Party, was requested by the then-prime minister’s office.

Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles confirmed this afternoon the secretary of the Department of Home Affairs has been asked to look into the matter.

The message, sent to thousands of voters on the afternoon of May 21 read: “BREAKING – Aust Border Force has intercepted an illegal boat trying to reach Aus. Keep our borders secure by voting Liberal today” with a link to the party’s website.

Deputy PM Richard Marles says the new government is investigating a text message sent on election day by the previous federal government.
Deputy PM Richard Marles says the new government is investigating a text message sent on election day by the previous federal government. (9News)

Following earlier reports the statement was requested by Scott Morrison’s office, Marles accused the Coalition government of politicising national security and said the reports, if true, “represents the final desperate acts of a dying government”.

“The former government sought to inject politics into a matter of national security. This is a matter that should have been above politics,” the deputy prime minister said.

“This is a matter where actually when it came to border security there was a national consensus, that this government sought to undermine and sought to create division where none existed and it sought to make this a matter of politics and this is really serious.

“It’s serious in the sense that it did make our borders less secure. It’s serious in that it risked lives, it risked lives, and it undermined the national consensus that does exist around border security.”

The statement about the boat was a departure from the previous government’s refusal to comment on “on-water matters”, a protocol introduced when Morrison was immigration minister.

Share this
You May Also Like

Domenic Perre found guilty of murder over 1994 National Crime Authority bombing

Domenic Perre has been found guilty of murder over the 1994 bombing…

End of financial year: All the changes happening on July 1 including Centrelink family payments increase, minimum wage and super

The financial year will come to a close at midnight tonight, sparking…

Russians fight to encircle Ukraine’s last eastern stronghold

Russian forces battled on Wednesday to surround the Ukrainian military’s last stronghold…

Australian beekeepers can learn from NZ’s fight to stop parasite

It was more than 20 years ago, but beekeeper Murray Bush remembers…

Queensland bans more single-use plastics, signals end to disposable coffee cups

Queensland is expanding its ban on single-use plastics, announcing that from September…

Cost of living pressures mean living off-grid has never been more appealing. But how hard is it?

Tilly Monaghan got very used to being called a “hippy” when she…

Review into COVID-19 vaccine and treatment supply launched by federal government

The federal government will review the supply contracts for COVID-19 vaccine and…

Man killed after truck plunged into Queensland creek

A man in his 60s has died after a truck plunged into…