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Two more boats as Carr must grantee practical support for Sri Lanka to stop illegal arrivals



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Michael Keenan MP - Federal Member for Stirling TWO MORE BOATS AS CARR MUST GUARANTEE PRACTICAL SUPPORT FOR SRI LANKA TO STOP ILLEGAL ARRIVALS December 14, 2012

Two more illegal boats, with a total of 115 people on board, arrive as Foreign Minister Bob Carr must use his Sri Lanka visit to secure a deal to provide practical support to the Sri Lankan government aimed at stopping illegal boats leaving that country, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Scott Morrison and Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection, Michael Keenan said today.

“Minister Carr has been shamed by the Opposition into visiting Sri Lanka to discuss his government’s failed border protection policies which opened up new markets for people smugglers resulting in more than 4,000 Sri Lankans arriving on illegal boats so far this year,” Mr Morrison said.

“Anything short of offering practical support to Sri Lanka’s efforts at preventing illegal boats leaving for Australia will expose Mr Carr’s trip as purely an exercise in spin.

“The Coalition has been calling for Labor to secure a deal with the Sri Lankan government since Sri Lankans began arriving en masse on illegal boats earlier this year. Labor has refused this point blank. Not only have they so far failed to offer practical support to the Sri Lankan government as part of any possible deal, they have also failed to prevent these illegal boats entering Australian waters.

“Together with Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Julie Bishop and Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection, Michael Keenan, I will be visiting Sri Lanka next month to see first hand how they are dealing with Labor’s failed border protection policies.

“These latest arrivals also show that while Australians are preparing to take time off over the Christmas holiday period, the people smugglers never rest under this government.

“Even during the monsoon season, the most dangerous time of the year for boat arrivals, Labor’s failed policies have people smugglers continuing to send boats at will,” Mr Morrison said.

Mr Keenan said: “These two latest boat arrivals, carrying a total of 115 people, are two more to add to Federal Labor’s litany of failures.

“This financial year alone we have witnessed 192 boats carrying 11,291 people, a massive strain on Border Protection Command (BPC).

“This comes as they were dealt additional severe cuts at the start of the financial year - over $7 million cut from civil maritime surveillance and response.

“The calendar year is rolling to a close and we are yet to hear from the Minister for Home Affairs Jason Clare MP on how he intends to ensure BPC are adequately resourced to cope with this constant influx of illegal boat arrivals,” Mr Keenan said.

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

www.keenan.net.au

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