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Over 340 illegal arrivals in just 24 hours

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Michael Keenan MP - Federal Member for Stirling OVER 340 ILLEGAL ARRIVALS IN JUST 24 HOURS May 03, 2013

The arrival of over 340 people on two illegal boats on the first day of May represents the biggest start to any month for illegal boat arrivals and means more people are being exposed by criminal people smugglers to the risk of tragedy at sea, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Scott Morrison and Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection, Michael Keenan said today.

“These latest two boats to arrive reflect a disturbing willingness by people smugglers to upscale their operations, thereby increasing the risks of a tragedy at sea for those they send to Australia,” Mr Morrison said.

“In the last five years at least 1,000 people have died at sea trying to get to Australia on boats sent by criminal people smugglers. There are likely many more that also perished and as long as boat arrivals continue under this government’s border failures the risk for even more tragedies remains high.

“While the threat to lives rises, so too does the cost to taxpayers. Boat arrivals are currently running at over 270% higher than Labor’s original budget forecast and astoundingly they are budgeting to stop the boats over the forward estimates without adopting the Coalition’s full suite of proven policies to get the job done.

“It is about time the Gillard Government dumped the spin and distraction and told Australian taxpayers just how much their continued failure on our borders will cost them.

“Australians have already had to wear over $5 billion in budget blow outs on illegal boats since the last election and they know that because Labor can’t be trusted to stop the boats, there will be more under Julia Gillard. Only the Coalition will stop the boats and once again get spending on our borders under control,” Mr Morrison said.

Mr Keenan said: “On the first day of May there were the two largest boat arrivals for the year, carrying a total of 341 people, intercepted in Australian waters.

“Not only are we seeing record numbers of arrivals but we are also seeing an alarming increase of the size of these boats.

“This trend is something that needs to be stopped before more people lose their lives.

“The people smugglers do not care one iota for the safety of the people that they smuggle to Australia - this is why the Coalition will implement the necessary tough border protection policies to put an end to this criminal trade,” Mr Keenan said.

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

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