Wednesday 22nd February 2012
The arrival of two more illegal boats with almost 200 people on board has made this the biggest summer of illegal boats on record, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Scott Morrison and Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection, Michael Keenan said today.
“These latest arrivals mean that so far this summer 2,186 people have arrived on 26 illegal boats, the highest level of illegal boat arrivals over a summer on record,” Mr Morrison said.
“On the eve of this record summer season of illegal boats, Labor announced their new policy for community release of asylum seekers, effectively ending mandatory detention,” he said.
“The message of Labor’s welcome mat policy, complete with welfare payments, work rights, rent free homes and $10,000 start up packages, has certainly gotten through, even in the midst of the dangerous monsoon season.
“With the arrival of these latest boats, Labor has marked the half way point of their term with 8,500 people turning up on 131 boats since the last election.
“Labor has lost control of our borders and themselves. Their only response as every boat arrives on their watch is to blame others for their failures. Labor has no proven policies on stopping the boats, just excuses and denial,” Mr Morrison said.
Mr Keenan said: “Eight boats in seven days – each carrying a large number of people – is a further sign that people smugglers continue to take advantage of the absence of any border protection regime in Australia.
“Labor Ministers are completely consumed by their own internal feuding and have no opportunity to take the necessary decisions that will be required to change this.
“It is plain to everyone except Julia Gillard, Chris Bowen and Jason Clare that we need to change course and that our porous borders and weak policies will continue to encourage people smuggling.
“The Australian people deserve a government that is actually on the job, not this continuing soap opera that will lead to further illegal boat arrivals and massive costs to the taxpayer,” Mr Keenan said.
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