Towards the end of ABC TV’s special “Sovereign Borders“ edition of Q&A last week came an intriguing but frustrating back-and-forth about the number of migrants Australia welcomes each year.

The key protagonists were Shen Narayanasamy, GetUp’s human rights campaign director, and retired general Jim Molan, co-author of the Coalition’s refugee and asylum policy and Tony Abbott’s former special envoy for Operation Sovereign Borders.