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Abbott's plan will lure more people onto boats



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THE HON BRENDAN O’CONNOR MP MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP

MEDIA RELEASE

Thursday, 15 February 2013

Abbott’s plan will lure more people onto boats

Tony Abbott has today announced plans that would encourage more people to get on boats to Australia to seek asylum and deny genuine refugees in overseas camps an opportunity to settle here.

In his State of The Nation Address, Mr Abbott restated that he won't go ahead with the increase in refugee intake from 13,750 to 20,000.

Tony Abbott has shown his blatant ignorance about how the people smugglers work.

The planned increase in humanitarian program targets those in most need: those vulnerable people in camps around the world. The increase is in line with the recommendations of the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers.

Tony Abbott’s plan to reduce legitimate pathways to a humanitarian visa will push more desperate people towards people smugglers to find their way here on unseaworthy vessels.

If Tony Abbott cuts the refugee intake more people will risk their lives to arrive here by boat.

The Gillard Government is committed to providing more opportunities for vulnerable and displaced people to pursue safer resettlement options in Australia as part of an orderly humanitarian program.

An Abbott Government will see the most vulnerable linger in overseas camps, and encourage more people to put their money and lives in the hands of the people smugglers.

The Gillard Government is committed to breaking the people smugglers’ business model. That is why we are implementing the recommendations of the Houston Review.

It’s time for the Opposition and the Greens party to commit themselves to tackling this challenge by supporting all of the Expert Panel’s recommendations.

The Opposition and the Greens party should listen to the experts.

Media Adviser: Maria Hawthorne 0407 015 986