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2012/13 boat arrivals exceed budget estimate by more than 1000 in first 100 days

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Michael Keenan MP - Federal Member for Stirling 2012/13 BOAT ARRIVALS EXCEED BUDGET ESTIMATE BY MORE THAN 1000 IN FIRST 100 DAYS October 08, 2012

The Government has blown their estimated number of arrivals by boat by more than 1000 in the first 100 days of the 2012/13 financial year, putting further stress on the already blown asylum budget, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Scott Morrison and Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection, Michael Keenan said today.

“So far in 2012/13 a thousand more people have turned up illegally by boat than the 5,400 Labor had budgeted for the full year. Already the bill for taxpayers in 2012/13 is estimated at $1.1 billion. This figure will undoubtedly be blown out once again, when Wayne Swan is forced to reveal the additional cost of Labor’s continued border protection failures.

“The latest 98 people to illegally enter Australia by boat will join more than 10,000 others, who are already in Australia in detention and in the community grinding their way at taxpayers’ expense through our assessment process and court system.

“As each boat arrives the smugglers walk away with millions and the Australian taxpayer gets hit with the bill for even more. To date budget blowouts are officially $4.9 billion over the past three years.

“We all know that it was Kevin Rudd who decided to abolish the successful border protection polices of the Howard Government. However it is Julia Gillard who stubbornly refuses to restore them, and must accept responsibility for the fact that on her watch the boats just keep coming.

“Last week we were reminded of another of Kevin Rudd’s border bungles, when one of the passengers on the Oceanic Viking that received his special deal took the Australian people to court, demanding a visa despite declared a national security risk by ASIO on two occasions.

“Kevin Rudd granted a special entry visa to allow the Oceanic Viking passengers to come to Australia, without even considering the security implications. Now we have an adverse finding in the High Court, further weakening the protections Australian have a right to believe are in place to ensure our security and sovereignty over our borders.

“There is always a price to pay for failing to manage our borders. Under Labor, that price is being paid by the Australian taxpayer,” Mr Morrison said.

Mr Keenan said: “60 boats carrying almost 4000 people have been smuggled across Australia’s borders since the Government recognised its failures on border protection and reopened offshore processing on Nauru.

“Since the announcement of a return to offshore processing on Nauru, only 181 of the 3827 asylum seekers that have arrived since then, have been transferred to Nauru - clearly overwhelming this Government’s attempts at offshore processing.

“Even more concerning is the latest warnings of possible riots occurring in the Christmas Island detention centre, as the rapid influx of boats continue to arrive.

“Labor’s inability to transfer asylum seekers from Christmas Island to Nauru in a timely manner is again leading to overcrowding and unrest within the detention facility.

“Yet again this Government has revealed that they are incapable of implementing strong border protection policies,” Mr Keenan said.

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