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Labor cuts customs and border protection budget despite biggest border crisis in Australia's history



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Michael Keenan MP - Federal Member for Stirling LABOR CUTS CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION BUDGET DESPITE BIGGEST BORDER CRISIS IN AUSTRALIA’S HISTORY May 16, 2013

Labor has once again taken an axe to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service’s (ACBPS) funding and personnel in their latest budget, Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection Michael Keenan said.

“The Government has cut $61.4 million in funding and 120 staff from Customs, including $14 million from border protection and enforcement, despite the drastic increase in their workload courtesy of Labor’s crisis at our borders,” Mr Keenan said.

“Not only has Labor cut funding and personnel from ACBPS but they have also reduced aerial and sea surveillance, even though last month was the biggest month for illegal boat arrivals in Australia’s history, with 46 boats carrying 3369 passengers intercepted.

“Since coming to office the Labor Party has cut 870 staff from the agency that has a total staffing level of just 5000 people.

“On top of this the Government has also cut $125.5 million in funding from Customs, which has left the agency overstretched and under resourced whilst trying to cope with the record breaking numbers of boat arrivals that have seen 333 boats and almost 21,000 people arrive so far this financial year.

“These latest Budget cuts have made a tough job even tougher by leaving our frontline border protection agency in a dire state, making it near impossible for them to adequately protect our borders.

“As a result of these continued cuts to the ACBPS, Labor is placing Australia’s borders in the hands of international criminal syndicates and leaving our borders susceptible to people smuggling and the smuggling of illegal weapons, illicit drugs and other contraband,” Mr Keenan said.

© Authorised by Michael Keenan MP, 203 Wanneroo Road, Tuart Hill WA 6060

www.keenan.net.au

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