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More boats as monsoon season approches

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Michael Keenan MP - Federal Member for Stirling MORE BOATS AS MONSOON SEASON APPROACHES November 09, 2012

The latest illegal boat, with 54 people on board, comes as arrivals continue to accelerate on the eve of the dangerous monsoon season, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Scott Morrison and Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection, Michael Keenan said today.

“The continued record rate of arrivals is occurring just weeks from the onset of the monsoon season which will greatly increase the risk of the already dangerous boat journey to Australia,” Mr Morrison said.

“The risk to life at sea increases dramatically over the monsoon season when tropical storms are a common occurrence bringing high seas and strong winds.

“Reports that our Navy patrol vessels are experiencing a record number of faults as they continue to be overwhelmed on our borders under Labor’s failure, are particularly disturbing given their potential role in rescues during this time.

“Customs is also under huge pressure, with its annual report revealing it is struggling to meet minimum patrol days for some vessels due to the huge workload of intercepting illegal boats.

“Given their continued refusal to restore the full proven Coalition measures that worked to stop the boats, the government should boost resources on our north west coast to ensure that every available asset is available to respond to potential emergencies at sea,” Mr Morrison said.

Mr Keenan said: “There have now been more arrivals this calendar year than in the previous three years combined under Labor.

“Labor has finally resorted to sending home asylum seekers who do not have legitimate claims of asylum but like everything Labor has done with this issue it is just too little too late.

“Labor sent back home 93 people this week when we have had 836 people arrive - that is a flood of illegal arrivals yet they only send a trickle home.

“This Government proves once again that they just do not have the courage or the conviction to implement the tough border protection policies needed to squash people smuggling,” Mr Keenan said.

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