Labor immigration spokesperson Richard Marles faced down revolt from party members as he fielded questions about the proposal to turn around asylum seeker boats.
People packed into a small room to hear Marles speak at a fringe event that ended up revealing just how divisive asylum policy is for the party.
Sensing an angry crowd, the forum chair asked those present to conduct themselves with decorum and civility. But that didn't last long.
Tasmanian senator Lisa Singh spoke about her objection to turnbacks, arguing that asylum seekers had been demonised in Australia by conservative governments, but that Labor had to "find a better way" to stop people dying at sea.