News National Saturday at the ALP conference: what they said

Saturday at the ALP conference: what they said

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Passionate speeches, on-stage protests and a vote to back Bill Shorten’s policy and support asylum seeker boat turnbacks headlined another busy day at the ALP conference.

Here we look back at some of the main quotes from Saturday’s action.

Labor vote for boat turnback policy
‘New direction’ for Labor on turnbacks


“In all conscience, if we know that people are getting on boats and we know that some of them sink and people drown … I cannot take to the Australian people at the next election a policy which I believe may contribute to that outcome because of our decisions. I cannot do that.”
– Opposition Leader Bill Shorten

“By and large, these people smugglers are now out of business. We must not be a party to open this market again … with the inevitable consequence of a huge loss of life.”
– Immigration spokesman Richard Marles

Delegates register votes by raising their hands. Photo: AAP
Delegates register votes by raising their hands. Photo: AAP

“I have no doubt whatever, if we give hope to the (people smuggler) trade, we will end up helping fewer people and hundreds will start the journey but never complete it.”
– Former immigration minister Tony Burke

“What Australia can do is put its responsibilities in its proper context – put those seeking asylum at the centre of our concerns.”
– Labor MP Andrew Giles

“When you turn a boat around you are sending it into an unsafe perilous journey.”
– Conference delegate Michele O’Neil

“It will weaken our borders again and blow a massive hole in the budget.”
– Immigration Minister Peter Dutton


“Labor will take a 50 per cent goal for renewable energy by 2030 to the election … because we know renewable energy will be a central part, not just of Australia’s energy system, but of our industrial and jobs base as well.”
– Opposition climate change spokesman Mark Butler

“The rest of the world recognises the role of renewable energy but it falls to this party, I believe, to win the debate in Australian politics about our energy mix.”
– Opposition Leader Bill Shorten


“Just putting the GST up, I’m sorry, is not a tax reform. It’s a tax increase, not a tax reform.”
– Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen


“It’s not sport. It’s chaos. Tight bods and tank tops and red balls going everywhere … delegates, if you want to see a real Labor sport, watch rugby league. Now that is a game.”
– NSW Labor secretary Jamie Clements

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