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Another illegal boat as Coalition inspect Nauru processing centre

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Michael Keenan MP - Federal Member for Stirling ANOTHER ILLEGAL BOAT AS COALITION INSPECTS NAURU PROCESSING CENTRE December 05, 2012

The arrival of the latest illegal boat, with 43 people on board, comes as the Coalition inspects the Nauru processing centre established by the government, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Scott Morrison and Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection, Michael Keenan said today.

“My visit this week has allowed me to get a first hand look at how the Labor Government is running the Nauru processing centre,” Mr Morrison said.

“It’s clear that a permanent facility must be built as quickly as possible, both to increase the number of people who can be sent there and ensure the centre can run more effectively. The government has indicated that 300 to 400 permanent beds will be built by late January/early February.

“The government must also ensure that a single agency is given responsibility for the running of the centre. Currently a number of different agencies are working well collaboratively but there is no clear central leadership. Someone needs to be in control.

“While there has been some protest action from a number of asylum seekers, it is crucial the government not reward or be swayed by these actions as they have done in the past, particularly with granting rioters in immigration detention permanent visas.

“There are many asylum seekers trying to do the right thing on Nauru who are being impacted on by a minority of trouble makers.

“The continued arrival of Sri Lankans by boat comes as the government is hit by an injunction of its own making on deportations through its failure to work with the Sri Lankan Government to stop boat arrivals at the source.

“Labor has refused to enter into a formal agreement with the Sri Lankan Government to prevent boats from leaving, nor have they been intercepting boats bound for Australia at sea before they enter our territorial waters.

“Now Labor has once again tied itself up in knots in the courts which will frustrate the return of economic refugees from Sri Lanka and fail to send a strong message of deterrence at the most dangerous time of the year to get on a boat to Australia,” Mr Morrison said.

Mr Keenan said: “Three boats have arrived in the first three days of December yet still not a single slab has been laid at the Nauru detention centre.

“It is clear that offshore processing on Nauru and Manus is not going to be a strong enough deterrent on their own - Labor needs to introduce the full suite of Howard Government border protection policies if they are serious about stopping the boats.

“We need a return to temporary protection visas and turning 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.

“The Government have proved time and time again that they do not have the resolve or the will to stop the people



smuggling trade - it will take a Coalition Government to restore control of Australia’s borders to the Commonwealth,” Mr Keenan said.

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