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500 boats, 500 policy failures

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Michael Keenan MP - Federal Member for Stirling 500 BOATS, 500 POLICY FAILURES November 08, 2012

500 boats represent 500 policy failures that have arrived since Labor was elected in 2007, cementing Julia Gillard’s reputation as the worst steward of our borders in Australia’s history, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Scott Morrison and Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection, Michael Keenan said today.

“Today is a dark day for Australia. This milestone has come with great cost, chaos and tragedy. The only winners are the people smugglers,” Mr Morrison said.

“A responsible government would not have created this crisis. This is failure that only an election will change,” he said.

“It was Julia Gillard who said ‘another boat, another policy failure’. There have now been 500 such policy failures under Labor, of which a staggering 72% have occurred on her watch.

“The people smuggling cancer has strong roots under Labor. Five years of Labor failure has seen it grow massively, not just in Indonesia but across continents to new markets of misery.

“2012 is already the all time record year for boats with 228 arrivals and 14,400 people on board including over 3,000 people from Sri Lanka. Smugglers know this Prime Minister and this government has neither the policies nor the resolve to beat them.

“Labor’s record continues to grow at startling speed under their half hearted measures and failure of resolve. Arrivals this financial year are running at over 2,000 people a month - including over 750 on 15 boats in just the first week of November.

“An election next year will allow Australians the opportunity to stop the boats by electing a Coalition government, a government that will possess not only the proven measures to get the job done but also the necessary resolve to wipe away the people smugglers,” Mr Morrison said.

Mr Keenan said: “500 illegal boat arrivals have been successfully smuggled to Australia under Labor’s watch - more than double the amount that arrived under the entire 12 years of the Howard Government.

“15 boats carrying 764 people in just one week is not only completely unsustainable but it highlights the dire state that the Gillard Government has reduced Australia’s borders to.

“Labor tries to talk the talk on tough border protection policies but ultimately all they have achieved is greater incentives for people smugglers and less funding and resources for our frontline agencies trying to combat this trade.

“We need an election and a Coalition Government that has the necessary resolve to put an end to this constant flood of illegal boats at our borders,” Mr Keenan said.

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

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