Wednesday 15th February 2012
The latest boat carrying 127 people has arrived at the same time as Labor is asking Parliament for another $330 million to cover further blowouts in asylum seeker costs, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Scott Morrison and Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection, Michael Keenan said today.
“Labor’s asylum seeker budget has blown out by $3.9 billion since they abolished the proven border protection measures of the Howard Government,” Mr Morrison said.
“Labor’s only response to record boat arrivals and budget blowouts is to blame the Opposition, embrace the Greens and refuse to restore the proven measures of the Coalition that stopped the boats,” he said.
“The arrival of another 127 people on this latest boat, will add to the more than 15,000 people who have already turned up on illegal boats since Labor abolished the Howard Government’s Pacific Solution and temporary protection visas.
“In Senate Estimates this week, Labor said there would be 450 people coming by boat per month, with 7,500 expected by the end of June 2013.
“As long as Labor remains in denial, clings to policy failures and excuses, the boats will continue to come, the costs will continue to rise and this mess of Labor’s own making will remain,” Mr Morrison said.
Mr Keenan said: “We are now in the second sitting week of Parliament for 2012 yet the Gillard Labor Government has shown no clear signs that they plan to address the Border Protection fiasco that they created,” Mr Keenan said.
“How can Labor deal with serious policy challenges when they remain completely preoccupied with their own internal divisions?” he said.
“Everyday of inaction further emboldens the people smugglers model which is evident in the amount of people they are cramming onto these boats.
“How many more illegal arrivals will it take before this incompetent Labor Government acknowledges the mistake they made when they abandoned the proven policies of the Coalition?
“Until we see a return to offshore processing on Nauru and Temporary Protection Visas, the people smuggling syndicates will continue to decide who enters our country and controls our borders,” Mr Keenan said.
***table detailing Labor's $3.9B asylum seeker blow out attached below ***
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