Mr Leyonhjelm, who will join the Senate on July 1, will be one of eight crossbench senators who will hold the balance of power in the new Senate.
Speaking on Sky News‘ Australian Agenda this morning, the NSW Senator-elect predicted Tony Abbott‘s border protection regime would fail and argued for an economic approach that charged asylum-seekers for permanent residency but denied them access to welfare.
“You can come in through the front door but you have to pay a tariff, and the tariff would be a little bit more expensive than what it costs to pay for a trip to Malaysia to bribe everybody to get in,” Mr Leyonhjelm said.
The Liberal Democratic Party Senator said his “working figure” for the tariff was currently $50,000.
“Change the economic incentive, it’s costing us a fortune at the moment to send the Navy out to intercept these boats,” he said.
Mr Leyonhjelm said asylum-seekers who pay to come to Australia would have to find work and would not be entitled to any benefits.
“When you get here you are allowed to work, you don’t get locked up, (but) you don’t have access to welfare so it becomes an economic consideration, if you don’t think you can get a job and support yourself you wouldn’t come,” he said.
“They would say to themselves; ‘is it worth my while spending $50,000 to come here, knowing that ‘if I can’t get a job its money down the drain’?”.
The Prime Minister will have to negotiate with Mr Leyonhjelm to get his legislative agenda through the parliament, requiring the support of six of the eight crossbenchers to pass laws that are opposed by Labor and the Greens.
Mr Leyonhjelm has already committed to supporting the repeal of the carbon and mining taxes, but he has expressed serious concerns about Mr Abbott’s signature paid parental leave scheme.
He has also flagged significant resistance to any moves to reform the electoral system to curb micro parties with small votes from winning Senate seats.
“What it amounts to is Coles and Woolworths coming together to determine what other shops can set up in their area that is what it amounts to,” he said of the move to reform the system.
“It’s the big boys ganging up against the little guys, they don’t like having little parties snapping at their heels, it’s competition and they don’t like that completion.”
“If there is any chance of a change to the electoral system that results in the minor parties being kept out of the system, I’d be dead against it,” Mr Leyonhjelm told the program.
- Asylum seekers drown on way to Australia (craighill.net)
- Charge asylum seekers $50,000 (theage.com.au)
- Leyonhjelm proposes asylum tariff (theage.com.au)
- Lib Dem proposes asylum-seeker tariff (news.theage.com.au)
- Asylum Seekers at Top of Australian PM Trip to Indonesia (voanews.com)
- Asylum seeker problem won’t quietly go away (abc.net.au)
- High level boat talks underway in Jakarta (news.theage.com.au)
- Resolve to stop boats remains strong: govt (news.smh.com.au)
- High-level boat talks continue in Jakarta (sbs.com.au)
- Asylum Seekers drown off Lampedusa- inhumane politics (thestringer.com.au)