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Rudd's 'nothing' announcement will not stop people smugglers.



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Senator the Hon David Johnston Shadow Minister for Defence I Senator for Western Australia Media Release RUDD’S ‘NOTHING’ ANNOUNCEMENT WILL NOT STOP PEOPLE SMUGGLERS Kevin Rudd’s first year in office has been characterised by his ability to look extremely busy with summits, overseas trips and token policies such as Grocery Watch….without actually achieving anything or making the tough decisions. Today’s National Security announcement is yet another example of Mr Rudd’s do-nothing strategy with the re-badging of Customs to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. Mr Rudd claims he is concerned about the increasing activities of people-smuggling operations but ‘inherited’ a system that didn’t work. Shadow Defence Minister and former Customs Minister David Johnston said it was misleading in the extreme to blame the previous government for the increasing problem of people-smuggling in Australian waters. “The Australian Customs Service, combined with the Border Protection Command worked so well under the Howard Government that people-smuggling attempts virtually ceased,” Senator Johnston said. Senator Johnston said Mr Rudd had an opportunity to upgrade Customs’ fleet of patrol boats in a recent Cabinet proposal by his Customs Minister but scrapped it. “Instead Mr Rudd, the eternal bureaucrat, chooses to rename and reshuffle agencies in an attempt to be seen to be doing something about the increasing numbers of people-smugglers who are testing the waters under a new Labor Government,” Senator Johnston said. “We have waited patiently for more than a year for this national security statement, but there is nothing tangible in it whatsoever.” “If new structures, new reviews and new reports make you safe then we will be the safest nation on earth.”

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4/12/2008

Media Contact: Rebecca Horton 0427 449 120

Rebecca Horton Media Adviser I Senator the Hon David Johnston Shadow Minister for Defence I Senator for Western Australia

Office (Perth) (08) 9478 2088 I Mobile: 0427 449 120