Peter Dutton says health checks at borders have “nothing” to do with Australian Border Force.
Peter Dutton says health checks at borders have “nothing” to do with Australian Border Force.

‘New threat’: Aussie border crackdown

Home affairs Minister Peter Dutton says the Ruby Princess fiasco will likely change the way Australia polices its borders in the future, by highlighting the need to take health risks as well as other potential threats into account.

Speaking to the Today show on Nine on Friday morning, Mr Dutton said "lessons will be learned" from the report, which is due to be handed to the NSW government today.

"I think the borders will be a new environment when we come out of this," he said. "We will look closely at people for whether they are a criminal or a terrorist threat, but more importantly, or as importantly into the future, whether or not people are a health risk as well."

But he again deflected blame from the Australian Border Force and suggested changes would come in state health authorities.

It's the responsibility to this day of state health officials to assess risks, he said, adding "I don't employ a doctor or nurse at the airport, at ports."

"It is nothing to do with the Australian Border Force," he said. "They look at documentation … they do not conduct testing, they don't conduct temperature tests."

Deputy Labor leader Richard Marles hit back, saying Mr Dutton and the federal government had to take responsibility for the ship being allowed to dock and passengers disembarking.

"It is everybody else's fault but their own," he said.

Mr Marles said it was to "state the obvious" that the virus had come to Australia from overseas.

"This is Australia's border," he said. "What is really clear from the Ruby Princess is that this is fundamentally a failing in relation to the Australian Border Force."

Originally published as 'New threat': Aussie border crackdown


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