Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
400 illegal boats, 400 policy failures since Gillard appointed PM

Download PDFDownload PDF

Michael Keenan MP - Federal Member for Stirling 400 ILLEGAL BOATS, 400 POLICY FAILURES SINCE GILLARD APPOINTED PM December 17, 2012

The latest illegal boat, with 54 people on board, is the 400th since Julia Gillard was appointed Prime Minister in June 2010, cementing her reputation as the worst steward of our borders in our nation’s history, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Scott Morrison and Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection, Michael Keenan said today.

“The same Prime Minister who at the last election promised Australians she would smash the people smugglers’ business model, armed with her farcical East Timor proposal, has now been responsible for 400 illegal boats arriving on her watch with almost 25,000 people on board,” Mr Morrison said.

“In her own words this Prime Minister is responsible for 400 boats and 400 policy failures. Her failure has resulted in unprecedented cost, chaos and tragedy on our borders including $6.6 billion and counting in budget blow outs,” he said.

“Neither the Prime Minister nor the government she leads have their hearts in stopping illegal boats. When they do act, they have to be dragged kicking and screaming by the Coalition and it is typically too little and too late.

“The Government’s latest announcements on Sri Lanka are just another example of the Coalition having to force their hand to act.

“Since Sri Lankan boats began arriving en masse seven months ago, the Coalition has consistently called for Labor to reach an agreement to help Sri Lanka turn them around to prevent them from leaving.

“As recently as July Minister Bowen described the Coalition’s calls for such an agreement as a ‘fundamental misunderstanding’. Yet once again, they are forced to backflip after dragging their heels and allowing thousands more to arrive.

“The other issue with Labor is that they are big on announcements and very short on delivery. As NSW Premier, Bob Carr was an announcement addict, and we all know what state he left NSW in after the reality caught up with his hollow announcements and rhetoric.

“I look forward to visiting Sri Lanka with my colleagues in January to see just what is being delivered on the ground.

“Labor has spent the last five years rubbishing the very kinds of turn back arrangements they now say they are supporting the Sri Lankan government to achieve.

“The Sri Lankan deal just further exposes the truth - that Labor’s stubborn pride is the only obstacle to turning boats around where safe to do so,” Mr Morrison said.

Mr Keenan said: “There have now been 400 illegal boat arrivals under Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s watch despite one of her election promises to stop the boats from coming.

"The Prime Minister used the border protection crisis as one of her excuses to stab former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in the back - yet under Gillard’s leadership 5 boats carrying, almost 300 passengers, is just two days work under Labor's non existent border protection regime.



"The people smugglers are clearly determined to end 2012 on a high with more boats having arrived in the first 2 weeks of this month than in the whole of December last year.

"Labor only makes half hearted attempts to end this criminal trade and restore control to our borders but their lack of resolve has made Australia the laughing stock of the region.

"If Labor cannot fulfil the role of the Commonwealth and protect our borders then they should call an election," Mr Keenan said.

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