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Pragmatism killing boatpeople

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MEDIA RELEASE 22nd June 2012 Pragmatism killing boatpeople People seeking asylum are dying because pragmatism is overriding a compromise that would reduce the number of people getting on boats in the first place according to the Independent member for New England, Tony Windsor. Mr Windsor is again urging the Greens to compromise on the Malaysia option or the Rob Oakeshott “Bali Process Bill”, either of which he believes would go a long way to “stopping the boats”. He also encouraged the Opposition to review their position. “I would hope that all decision makers in the Government, Greens and Opposition can focus on the real issue about boats carrying asylum seekers. “Surely the real issue is about saving people‟s lives and the best way of doing this is to discourage people from getting on a boat in the first place. “The boats are not safe - they are not cruise liners with life rafts and they are overcrowded. “It‟s a recipe for tragedy and unless Australia makes it unattractive for people to take the huge risk of getting onto one of these death traps, more people will die. “I hear the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott say that now is not a time for political games but give it a couple of days and the political blame game will crank up to fever pitch. “I believe the compromise put forward by the Government could mean both Nauru and Malaysia are options. “The Malaysia option would mean that people seeking asylum in Australia would not get onto a leaky boat in the first place. “It would mean that if asylum seekers do happen to proceed down that path and they don‟t die in the process, they would go to the end of the queue in Malaysia and not jump the queue to Nauru and into Australia. “Taking them to Nauru as suggested by the Coalition, does not stop them getting on to a leaky boat in Indonesia. It just guarantees them a safe trip from Christmas Island to Nauru and into what is really on-shore processing. “I believe that the Greens are a compassionate group of people and would put the saving of lives ahead of on-shore processing. “I would therefore urge the Greens to help stop people getting on board the leaky boat in the first place, and the Malaysia option or „the Bali Process Bill‟ should be a big enough deterrent to asylum seekers and bring about the demise of the people smugglers‟ businesses. “We need to stop people getting on the boats in the first place, not just stop the boats once they are on the way,” Mr Windsor said.