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People smugglers still in business.



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THE HON DR SHARMAN STONE MP Federal Member for Murray Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship

Friday 26 June 2009

PEOPLE SMUGGLERS STILL IN BUSINESS

“This week saw the interception of two groups of asylum seekers by Indonesian authorities and the arrival of the 23rd boat that has now ferried almost 900 people to Australia since the Rudd Government softened our border protection policies last August,” Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Dr Sharman Stone said today.

“Alarmingly, there are reports in media today that more boats are preparing to set sail, or have already departed with over 100 asylum seekers onboard at least one of those boats.

“However there has been not a single word from the Government about this surge in activity; not a single public statement by any Minister on their or their departments, websites.

“Instead of taking measures to strengthen our borders, or even to “talk” tough, the Labor Government sent another message to people smugglers this week that our back door is wide open. Legislation abolishing detention debt was passed by the ALP yesterday, yet it was a principle that should have been retained.

“The people smugglers clearly have a well established pipeline to Australia and they are using the Rudd Government’s soft policies to recruit more. Instead of sending out the right messages and policies to end this vile trade, the Prime Minister and his incompetent ministers remain silent.

“The need for an inquiry into the linkage between the softening of policy and the surge in arrivals, as called for by the Coalition, is long overdue and its time this Labor Government looked at the evidence and toughened up about people smugglers,” Dr Stone concluded.

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Contact: Ann Duffield 0409 842 069

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