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77 asylum seekers lucky to be alive after capsize

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Michael Keenan MP - Federal Member for Stirling 77 ASYLUM SEEKERS LUCKY TO BE ALIVE AFTER CAPSIZE March 14, 2013

77 asylum seekers whose boat capsized off Ashmore Island are lucky to be alive today, as the dangerous lure for people smugglers of Labor’s failed border protection policies continues, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Scott Morrison and Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection, Michael Keenan said today.

“The capsizing of this boat with 77 people on board, confirmed by AMSA, shows the inherently dangerous nature of the people smuggling trade which continues to flourish under Labor’s failed border protection policies,” Mr Morrison said.

“Thanks to AMSA and the actions of our Naval and Customs personnel no lives were reportedly lost in this incident. Unfortunately the risk of deaths at sea continues as people smugglers continue to send illegal boats to Australia under Labor’s failure on our borders.

“Yesterday marked another milestone of failure by Labor on our borders with more people having arrived illegally by boat this financial year than over the entire period of the Howard Government.

“Even in the midst of a sinking vessel and record arrivals the government continues on its failed way, blaming everyone else other than themselves for their own policy failures.

“The number of arrivals this financial year is up 66% on last year. That is a staggering increase and comes after what was the biggest summer of boats in Australia’s history.

“The Prime Minister is more concerned about people coming as skilled migrants than she is about stopping illegal boat arrivals and preventing more cost, chaos and tragedy on our borders,” Mr Morrison said.

Mr Keenan said: “This latest asylum boat rescue is a staunch reminder of the dangers facing those who seek to travel to Australia illegally by boat.

“This treacherous journey has claimed many lives and is a reminder to us why it is so important to put an end to this insidious trade that preys on people’s vulnerabilities.

“Pursuing weak policies that encourage people smuggling is not now, and never has been, the humanitarian option for dealing with this problem.

“The Government must implement the necessary tough border protection policies to stop people getting on these boats and risking their lives.

“The Coalition will restore temporary protection visas and turn the boats back around when it is safe to do so in order to send the strongest possible message to the people smugglers that Australia’s borders are no longer open for business and to protect people who think this voyage is an option worth taking,” Mr Keenan said.

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