Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull has told the Konrad Adenauer Foundation gathering in Berlin that the key to gaining support for multiculturalism is having control of your borders.
At the German political think tank, Turnbull boasted that Australia is the global benchmark as a multicultural society.
And said this is because of a robust border security policy. He suggested Germany — which has struggled with integration since Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed a million refugees into the country two years ago — could use a more “disciplined approach to border protection”.
“We know what works and what doesn’t” and what was needed was “a very disciplined approach to border protection”, Turnbull answered when asked a question on immigration after his keynote speech.
“We are absolutely determined to ensure that people do not come to Australia other than with the consent of the government of Australia,” he continued.
“Migration programs and multicultural society needs to have a commitment and an understanding and the trust of the people that their government is determining who comes to the country. Being in control of the borders is absolutely critical.
Being in control of the borders is absolutely critical.
“You have to be able to exert your sovereign right to control your own borders.”
— Hugh Riminton (@hughriminton) April 23, 2018
It is understood Turnbull and Merkel discussed the matter privately later on Monday (local time).
Turnbull presses for FTA with EU
The PM’s main order of business for his two-day visit to Germany, was to speak with Merkel about helping Australia secure a free trade deal with the European Union.
Merkel is a powerful voice in support of free trade within the EU, and she responded positively to Turnbull’s points during his speech.
She agrees that a move needs to be made against protectionism in the wake of Washington and Beijing’s trade war.
“Political alienation is feeding populism and protectionism and providing opportunities for foreign interference,” Turnbull told the Foundation.
“As we move to negotiate a free trade agreement between Australia and Europe, we have a special opportunity to show what we stand for, as well as what we stand against.”
In reply, Merkel said it was simply a matter of time before the FTA was signed off.
“Germany has always been in favour to meet Australia’s wish for a free trade agreement and I think we’ve made significant progress on the road towards that.”