Former prime minister Tony Abbott has conceded that the Coalition opposition might have erred in not supporting the Gillard government’s Malaysian solution to the asylum-seeker crisis of 2011.
Delivering a speech to the Samuel Griffith Society, in Adelaide, said allowing the Malaysian solution “would have been a step back from the hyper-partisanship that now poisons our public life”.
Abbott conceded his government could have handled differently the debate over repealing Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.
Abbott also discussed budget repair and his government’s economic policies during 2013-15.
The speech will be seen as another pointer to the role Abbott intends to play in the coming term of parliament.
Speech by Tony Abbott to the Samuel Griffith Society.
My first task tonight is to congratulate the Samuel Griffith Society for its unflinching commitment to upholding our constitution and to safeguarding our legal traditions.
You are, if I may say so, a thoroughly conservative body – not in any partisan sense but in your respect for what has shaped us and in your determination to build on the best features of the past.