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NZ asylum deal exhausted in just three days

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Michael Keenan MP - Federal Member for Stirling NZ ASYLUM DEAL EXHAUSTED IN JUST THREE DAYS February 10, 2013

The illegal arrival of three boats in just three days carrying more than 190 people has already exhausted the arrangement with the New Zealand Government to take 150 refugees who have arrived in Australia by boat, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Scott Morrison and Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection, Michael Keenan said today.

“The latest boat carrying 55 people is the 15th boat so far this year, with a total of 871 people having arrived so far. This is the fastest start to arrivals we have seen in any year, even under Labor,” Mr Morrison said.

“The high rate of arrivals that continues under Labor's failed border policies and resolve only highlights just how much of a non-event yesterday's announcement by the Prime Minister in New Zealand was.

“The agreement for New Zealand to take 150 boat arrivals has been overwhelmed in just three days. At the same time the PM wilfully missed an important opportunity to join with New Zealand to get the focus of regional cooperation back on bolstering regional border security, which is why the Bali Process was established by the Coalition in the first place.

“Julia Gillard is always looking for new ways to accommodate people turning up on boats, rather than restoring the policies that stopped them.

“On Monday the Coalition's Bill to restore temporary protection visas will be introduced into the parliament, providing the Government with the opportunity to admit they got it wrong and put back one of the key measures they abolished that set in the chaos, cost and tragedy that has been occurring on our borders ever since,” Mr Morrison said.

Mr Keenan said: “The latest illegal boat arrival places more pressure on the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service at a time when the agency is facing huge pressure to regain control of Australia’s borders on the limited resources provided by this Labor Government.

“When you consistently remove funding and personnel from frontline border protection agencies then you leave our borders vulnerable to penetration from criminal syndicates.

“Labor cannot provide stability to Australia’s borders - they cannot even provide stability within their own Government.

“The Coalition has a plan to stop the boats from coming - a plan that has already worked to stop them coming before and will work to stop them coming again,” Mr Keenan said.

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