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Boat arrivals ban is 'last piece': Bishop

AAP logoAAP 31/10/2016

A proposed life-time ban on refugees arriving by boat is the last of the government's measures to clean-up the chaos on Australia's borders, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says.

Ms Bishop denies the laws, which would see all adults sent to offshore immigration centres on Nauru and Papua New Guinea's Manus Island prevented from ever entering Australia, are designed to appeal to One Nation.

"This is the last piece of the work that we have to do to clean up the chaos after Labor's border protection policies, which I suggest would be one of the worst policy failures in living memory," she told ABC radio on Tuesday.

It follows the introduction of temporary protection visas, boat turn-backs and offshore processing.

Asked if the government was in contact with the United Nation's refugee agency, the minister said it was in constant contact.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has labelled the plan to be put to parliament next week as ridiculous "at face value", saying Labor would look at the legislation when it was presented.

The Labor leader says the deal is more about Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull trying to keep One Nation and the right-wing of his party happy.

Labor MPs have been stronger in their criticism.

Maria Vamvakinou called it "draconian, heavy handed and over the top" while fellow backbencher Warren Snowdon labelled it "nonsensical, farcical, and stupid".

Queensland MP Graham Perrett said Labor would look at the laws, but told AAP he "couldn't believe Labor would ever support it".

Opposition immigration spokesman Shayne Neumann acknowledged many within the party had expressed their concern about the proposed laws, calling the plan "nonsensical".

Mr Turnbull said he disagreed with Pauline Hanson that refugees were not welcome in Australia.

"We decide which refugees come to Australia and we are able to manage the integrity of our borders," he told ABC radio.

He defended Australia's refugee program, describing it as one of the most generous in the world.

Mr Turnbull said his position on border security has been consistent throughout his time in public life.

"This is an issue of humanity," he said.

"If we wish to stop people drowning at sea, if we wish to put the people smugglers out of business, (and) maintain one of the most generous humanitarian refugee programs in the world we must maintain the integrity of our borders."

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