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WA Coronial Inquiry into the Christmas Island Tragedy

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WA Coronial Inquiry into the Christmas Island Tragedy

Posted on Thursday, 23 February, 2012

The Federal Opposition today acknowledged the findings of the WA Coronial Inquiry into the SIEV 221 Christmas Island boat tragedy, which occurred on December 15 2010.

The Coalition commends the bravery of the men and women of Customs and Border Protection Command, Defence personnel, the Australian Federal Police and the many Christmas Island community members who rushed to assist the unfolding tragedy, without whom many more lives could have been lost.

As Deputy Chair of the Joint Committee on the Christmas Island Tragedy, I witnessed first hand the treacherous location where the tragedy took place and I have nothing but respect and admiration for those that risked their lives to save others.

The Coalition believes that Customs and the AFP did the best job they could with the resources they had available to them on the day.

It remains the case that whilst people smugglers continue to bring people to Australia illegally that a tragedy of this scale and nature could reoccur.

Stopping people smuggling is the only thing that will eliminate this terrible possibility.

The Opposition will consider the Coroner’s report in detail.