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30 boats due to Tony Abbott's negativity
CHRIS BOWEN MP
MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP
JASON CLARE MP MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER FOR JUSTICE MINISTER FOR DEFENCE MATERIEL
11 May 2012
30 BOATS DUE TO TONY ABBOTT’S NEGATIVITY
As Tony Abbott continues to reject offshore processing for purely political purposes, another asylum seeker boat was intercepted off Christmas Island last night.
Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, and Minister for Home Affairs, Jason Clare MP, said this was the 30th boat since the Coalition refused the Government’s offer to work together to implement a deterrent to stop the flow of boats.
“The Australian people rightly expect that the Government of the day should be able to implement its border protection policies, but Tony Abbott continues to stand in the way of progress on offshore processing,” Mr Bowen said.
“Offshore processing cannot proceed without legislation, but Mr Abbott happily refuses to vote for it because his political interest is more important to him than the national interest.
“This is in stark contrast to the last time this country faced a similar situation, when Kim Beazley allowed John Howard to implement offshore processing more than 10 years ago.”
Mr Clare said the boats would keep coming as long as Tony Abbott said no.
"If the Labor Party had opposed John Howard's terrorism laws after 9/11 or offshore processing laws after Tampa we would have been condemned, and rightly so," Mr Clare said.
"The same applies here - this is in the national interest and lives are at risk.
"Tony Abbott should give the Government the power to stop these boat arrivals the way the Labor Party gave John Howard the power to pass terrorism laws after 9/11 and offshore processing after Tampa.
"If Mr Abbott is serious about stopping the boats he must stop saying no and pass our legislation to allow asylum seekers to be processed offshore in Malaysia and Nauru."
Media Contacts: Bill Kyriakopoulos 0400 510 802 / Laura Stevens 0432 833 769 (Bowen) Korena Flanagan 0418 251 316 (Clare)