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Ten Morning News -

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(generated from captions) This program is captioned live.

For more on the boatpeople tragedy,

we're joined by Home Affairs

Minister Bob Debus, who's in our

Canberra bureau. Minister, have you

had any indication yet whether

deliberate? yesterday's fire and explosion were

deliberate? No man can do I do not

expect we will have a handle on

burnt for some time. - no and I do

not. And in their - an

investigation has begun. We have 18

people in Perth and Darwin now.

Forensic experts and criminal intelligence officers,

investigators, conducting all the

appropriate investigation and

interviews with the people on the

boat at the time. That is how

people come to a measured view of

whether this was an accidental or a

deliberate accident. The West Australian Premier initally

suggested sabotage, and police say

they're ready to launch a murder

investigation. Why are they

prepared to take a much harder

approach to the incident? I must

say that I have been in touch with

border protection command on an

Aldi basis since the incident

occurred. They have been absolute

this dead fast during that period,

telling me that they cannot say

with any degree of certainty

whether it was an accident or

deliberate. - absolute peach stared

fast. The Western Australian

premier made claims and then later

in the day issued a clarifying

statement, in which he accepted

that my approach to the matter was

appropriate. I really cannot say

why it was that he went out in such

a precipitous fashion. But it is

not the way that public figures

normally behave when dealing with a

situation be serious. We would be

behaving the same way if it was a

more ordinary police investigation

into a crime. It took many hours

for the worst of the victims to reach specialist treatment in

Darwin. Why was the rescue mission

so difficult? The reef is something

like 250 nautical miles, perhaps

more, from the air base in Perth,

WA. It is 100 naughty nautical

miles from Darwin. 100 and 0190

nautical miles - 100 and naughty

You have to get people over a very

large distance in helicopter. I

think the operation was carried out

very effectively. Once they got to

the airbase they had to be

reassessed. The victims were sent to particular hospitals according

to the degree of their injury. The

Opposition has effectively accused

the Government of responsibility

for the deaths, claiming that by

softening the Howard government's

Pacific Solution policy, you should

have expected a surge in people

smuggling. Various members of the

opposition have been retreating

from that position during the

morning. Malcolm Turnbull and Joe

Hockey have both retreated from the

position that Dr Stone was putting

earlier during the time of this

tragic event. All I suggest is that

people look at the reality of the

global situation with asylum

seekers and refugees. In the last

year, the numbers of people who are

likely to seek asylum in some

better developed country, in Europe,

North America or Australia, has

been increasing massively. In Italy,

there was something like 37,500

asylum seekers last year. We are

presently talking of an increase