'Unhinged': Peter Dutton's explosive attack
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has launched an extraordinary attack on his Labor counterpart, describing her as "unhinged".
Senator Kristina Keneally, Labor's spokeswoman on Home Affairs, has been highly critical of the Ruby Princess debacle, in which more than 2000 cruise ship passengers were allowed to disembark in Sydney and spread coronavirus throughout Australia.
Questions have been raised about why none of the passengers were quarantined but allowed to freely move about.
An inquiry is now under way and New South Wales Police are investigating. Hundreds of cases of coronavirus are linked to the shop, as well as more than 20 deaths.
Mr Dutton was on ABC News this afternoon and asked about Senator Keneally's claim that there are "too many cooks in the kitchen" when it comes to border controls.
"Kristina Keneally was a New South Wales premier - a failed premier, but a premier at one point," Mr Dutton began.
"She never saw fit to change any of these arrangements - they are long-standing arrangements.
"Kristina Keneally's frankly unhinged attacks on the Border Force uniformed officers have been quite remarkable and regrettable."
Rather than Australian Border Force, Mr Dutton seemed to indicate sole responsibility for the debacle rested with NSW Health.
"I think an individual or others have made a mistake here in New South Wales Health… and it has been well documented, it was a decision that relied on information from the ship.
"All that is under investigation at the moment."
Mr Dutton accused Senator Keneally of having an "obsession with Border Force".
"We don't employ doctors and nurses in Australian Border Force.
"Our officers who work at the frontline, the people they see when they come and go from our international airports or if they are coming on or off a cruise ship, they are officers that are looking for those people that shouldn't be in our country because of criminal histories, because they are terrorists because they have a forged document - that is their role.
"We are happy to look at sensible proposals, but at the moment this sort of unhinged attacks by Kristina Keneally, I just don't think help anybody at all, let alone the officers of the Australian Border Force or frankly the great work that New South Wales Health does under enormous pressure in this current environment."