Wednesday 11th April 2012
The arrival of 255 people overnight on two illegal boats means boat arrivals are up more than 100% so far in 2012, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Scott Morrison and Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection, Michael Keenan said today.
“Labor have removed every brick in the wall of border protection they inherited from the Howard Government,” Mr Morrison said.
“Since Labor capitulated to the Greens in late November last year, and introduced their ‘let them in, let them out policy’ of mainstream community release, with bridging visas and work rights for single males, the number of boat arrivals to Australia has surged,” he said.
“So far this year, 1,818 people have arrived on 23 boats, compared to 857 people on 14 boats over the same period in 2011. This is an average of more than 550 people per month.
“At this rate, we can expect this year’s illegal boat arrivals to return to the record levels experienced in 2010.
“Asylum seekers are well aware of the latest softening in border policy by Labor, as was confirmed in media reports of comments by asylum seekers in Indonesia rescued from a vessel on their way to Australia this week.
“Labor refuses to accept responsibility for their border protection failures and remains in denial about the need to restore the proven measures of the Coalition.
“Instead they continue to soften border policy and attempt to cover their tracks by blaming the Opposition.
“Blaming the Opposition for the Government’s own border failures is not a policy, it is just another lame excuse from a Government that has given up on border protection,” Mr Morrison said.
Mr Keenan said: “People smugglers would have made $2.5 million over the past 24 hours on the back of Labor's failed border protection policies.
“With such large amounts of money at stake they will not quit until they understand that Australia has an administration that will do what it takes to close them down.
“They have tested Labor and prevailed on every single occasion.
“They continue to be emboldened by Labor's continued failure as evidenced by the latest two illegal arrivals carrying more than 250 people.
“As the boats continue to stream through our borders at such a rapid rate, the hard working men and women of the Border Protection Command will receive no break as they continue to face increased strain and lack of resources to deal with Labor’s border protection crisis.
“When you strip resources from the vital frontline agencies, like Labor has, then you open our borders up to penetration from the people smuggling syndicates.
“Sadly excuse after excuse is all Labor has to offer the Australian people as they refuse to reinstate the Coalition’s proven policies of offshore processing on Nauru, Temporary Protection Visas and turning the boats around when it is safe to do so,” Mr Keenan said.
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