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Gilard government a sure bet for people smugglers

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Michael Keenan MP - Federal Member for Stirling GILLARD GOVERNMENT A SURE BET FOR PEOPLE SMUGGLERS November 06, 2012

The arrival of three more illegal boats, with 58 people on board, shows the Gillard Government continues to be a sure bet for people smugglers, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Scott Morrison and Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection, Michael Keenan said today.

“Ten boats have arrived in just the first five days of this month including four with over 160 people on board yesterday, proving the Gillard Government is a sure bet for people smugglers. For almost five years the people smugglers have backed Labor to underwrite their business model, and for five years they have been backing a winner, from their perspective,” Mr Morrison said.

“Labor’s failures will continue so long as they are in Government. At the next election Australians will have the opportunity to send a message to the people smugglers, that Labor have failed to send through their own actions, by electing a Coalition Government and end the chaos, cost and tragedy on our borders that has stained this Government.

“These latest arrivals all likely originated from Sri Lanka and while the Minister was out trumpeting his supposed new ‘fly back’ policy of sending back Sri Lankans, there is now silence as more people arrive.

“The Sri Lankans who have arrived over the last few days should be on a plane back to their country of origin. If that doesn’t happen then we know this latest announcement is just another stunt. Only when the planes are going back as frequently as the boats are arriving will we know Labor is serious about their fly back policy.

“So far more than 3,000 people have illegally arrived on boats from Sri Lanka since the beginning of May, yet Labor have flown back less than 50 for having ‘no credible claim’,” Mr Morrison said.

Mr Keenan said: “10 boats, carrying almost 550 people, have arrived in the first five days of November, yet just days ago the Minister for Immigration was claiming that boat arrival numbers were on the decline.

“The idea that the rate of illegal boat arrivals is decreasing is completely and utterly farcical - this is one area of policy that this Government cannot hide from.

“The figures speak for themselves - 160 boats and nearly 9,000 people have already arrived in the few months of this financial year alone.

“There is clearly no evidence to show that Labor’s policies on border protection are working, in fact quite the contrary with more people having arrived this year than in the entire term of the Howard Government.

“It will take a Coalition Government to squash people smuggling and deliver the strong border protection policies that will stop the boats from coming,” Mr Keenan said.

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