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Over 11,000 arrivals this financial year as more asylum seekers transferred to the mainland

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Michael Keenan MP - Federal Member for Stirling Over 11,000 arrivals this financial year as more asylum seekers transferred to the mainland December 05, 2012

Another boat, carrying 110 passengers, has been intercepted with all on board to be transferred directly to the Australian mainland despite Labor’s promise of a return to offshore processing for illegal boat arrivals, Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection Michael Keenan said.

“Yet again this Government has demonstrated that they do not have the resolve to implement offshore processing but instead are transferring 110 passengers directly to Darwin,” Mr Keenan said.

“Over 11,000 people have arrived by boat this financial year yet the Government is still offering incentives to asylum seekers by transferring them directly to the Australian mainland.

“Labor must answer questions as to how the two Bay Class vessels that intercepted this boat of 110 people will be logistically able to transfer passengers to the mainland, when they only have a maximum capacity of 16 people for extended periods of time.

“Last week we saw the pride of the Royal Australian Navy being used as a water taxi for people smugglers, this week we are seeing two Customs vessels, with restricted capacity for transferring passengers, intercepting illegal boats of 110.

“The Government’s handling of our borders only continues to get even more shambolic with every new boat arrival.

“Labor has stripped funding and personnel from our frontline border protection agencies every year since they came to office and as a result our Border Protection Command is so overworked and under resourced that they need to call on the Royal Australian Navy and smaller Customs vessels to pick up asylum seeker boats.

“The hard working men and women of our Border Protection Command are under immense daily pressure with no assistance or relief offered by Labor.

“To solve this crisis at our borders we need a strong Government to implement the necessarily tough border protection policies needed to put an end to the booming people smuggling trade.

“The people smugglers will never take this Government seriously as every time they have challenged them Labor always chooses the path of least resistance - until we have a Coalition Government the boats will continue to come,” Mr Keenan said.

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

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