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Manus Island too little too late as two more boats arrive

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Michael Keenan MP - Federal Member for Stirling MANUS ISLAND TOO LITTLE TOO LATE AS TWO MORE BOATS ARRIVE October 09, 2012

Two boats carrying 175 people illegally entered Australia on the same day Papua New Guinea was designated a country for offshore processing with the support of the Opposition, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Scott Morrison and Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection, Michael Keenan said today.

"Labor’s designation of Papua New Guinea as a country for offshore processing comes almost 18 months after the Government first proposed to reopen the centre in May 2011 and allocated more than $800 million for the purpose. Yet the Government failed to act, waiting for over 15,000 more arrivals before finally designating PNG.

"As with Nauru, Labor’s decision to restore offshore processing on Manus Island, has come far too late and is still far too little to deal with the unprecedented arrivals that have occurred as a result of the Government’s continued failed policies.

"Over 4,000 people have now arrived since Labor had to be dragged kicking and screaming into reopening Nauru and Manus Island, as people smugglers continue to take advantage of the government’s failure to adopt the full Howard Government measures on our borders.

"Less than 5% of these 4,000 arrivals have been sent to Nauru meaning Labor’s asylum lottery on who gets sent to Nauru will now extend to Manus Island, undermining the deterrent effect of both centres.

"Labor have been driven to restore offshore processing because of politics, not conviction. That is why they can’t be trusted on our border," Mr Morrison said.

Mr Keenan said: "Another 175 people have arrived on Australia's shores illegally by boat today - a clear sign that the people smugglers are prepared to challenge Labor’s resolve and continue to send boats at an increasing tempo.

"The people smugglers will not give up their insidious trade in human misery especially when they know this Government always chooses the path of least resistance.

"Labor have lost all credibility and authority when it comes to protecting Australia’s borders.

"After five years in office, if Labor still cannot fulfil the role of the Commonwealth and adequately protect our borders then they should call an election," Mr Keenan said.

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