The opposition is seeking to put an end to people smuggling by attempting to reintroduce temporary protection visas.
The shadow immigration minister Scott Morrison said the measure was needed to regain control of Australia's borders from people trying to enter the country by boat, in the hope of securing permanent residency.
Mr Morrison, speaking on the fifth anniversary of the Labor party's election to power, told reporters in Sydney on Saturday: "Five years ago, we had secure borders. Five years ago, we had policies that worked.
"Five years later, that's no longer the case. Over 30,000 people have arrived and they are arriving on boats at a rate of 2,000 a month."
He said the government had to "put back in the tool box the policies that worked".
"One of the most important of those policies the government needs to put back in the tool box is temporary protection visas," he said.
He will seek to introduce a private members' bill in parliament next week. Under the proposal, the visas would only last until it was safe for people to return to their home country.
"They are temporary. They are not a permanent bridge to permanent residence as the government's bridging visa proposal is," he said.
"At the end of a term of a temporary protection visa, a person's refugee status is reassessed and if it's found they are no longer in need of our protection, they can be returned home."
Opposition leader Tony Abbott said the visa would be a solution to the asylum seeker problem.
"While the current government has completely lost control of our borders, there is a better way and there would be a better way under the coalition government," said Mr Abbott.
"We have got to deny the people smugglers a product to sell. The best way to do that is to well and truly establish the understanding that if you come to Australia by boat, you can't hope to get permanent residency."
Greens immigration spokeswoman Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said the government and opposition were in a race to the bottom in demonising refugees and asylum seekers.
"It's time for Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott to show true leadership, start listening to those concerns of the community and even their own backbenchers," she told reporters in Canberra.
"There are good people, warm-hearted people, compassionate people across all sides of politics in this place and increasingly they are becoming concerned at this race to the bottom ... that's demonising vulnerable refugees."
Temporary protection visas were abolished in 2008.
Under the coalition policy, they would be valid for up to three years, with visa holders having no family reunion rights.
Under the coalition's proposal, visa holders would not be able to return to Australia if they left the country for any reason and could only apply for permanent residence with ministerial approval.