The debate about illegal immigration is back in the election spotlight. There have been conflicting statements within the Liberals, while elsewhere Bill Shorten has ruffled feathers with comments about Donald Trump.

Tina Wood reports.


The Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was on the back foot today.

He was forced to defend comments by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton on refugees moving to Australia.

Mr Dutton had said refugees would take Australian jobs, put pressure on the dole and health services and need English lessons.

Peter Dutton, Immigration Minister: “They won’t be numerate or literate in their own language, let alone English.”

When challenged about the statements Malcolm Turnbull suggested his minister had been talking about costs more than anything else.

Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister: “Can I just say this to you, we have the most multicultural society in the world. It’s very expensive, we don’t begrudge the money but it’s important to get it right.”

For his part, Opposition leader Bill Shorten is under pressure to explain how he”ll fund his $800 million dollars of election promises.

The figure is about three times more than the LNP’s list.

Mr Shorten has also been criticised by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop for saying it would be hard to work with Donald Trump if he became president.

Julie Bishop, Foreign Minister: “Of course I’m disappointed that Bill Shorten is talking in terms that would indicate he’s been listening to the Greens, whose anti-Americanism is well known.”

She said the U.S. alliance is vital to Australia.

Tina Wood, QUT News.