Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Labor must act now, not wait for Nauru and Manus to fill

Download PDFDownload PDF

Michael Keenan MP - Federal Member for Stirling LABOR MUST ACT NOW, NOT WAIT FOR NAURU AND MANUS TO FILL September 11, 2012

The latest illegal boat to arrive, this time with 65 people on board, shows the government must immediately restore the Coalition’s proven border protection measures rather than do nothing and wait for Nauru and Manus Island to fill, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Scott Morrison and Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection, Michael Keenan said today.

"The Coalition has given Labor every opportunity to implement the Howard Government’s suite of proven policies to stop the boats including two opportunities this week to support these measures, first in the House of Representatives which they rejected and again in the Senate, which they will also reject," Mr Morrison said.

"Labor can act immediately to implement temporary protection visas and issue new orders to our navy to turn around boats where it is safe to do so. Their refusal to do so runs the risk of Nauru and Manus Island filling with boat arrivals and the government then blaming everyone else but themselves for their failure," he said.

"Labor was dragged kicking and screaming to reopen Nauru after abolishing it and then trashing it for the last four years. If Labor refuses to implement the full suite of Howard Government border protection policies they will be responsible for the consequences. If you break it, you own it.

"A total of 37 boats with 2,245 people on board have now arrived since Labor backflipped on Nauru. They must urgently act now. Their failure to do so will be yet another betrayal of the Australian people," Mr Morrison said.

Mr Keenan said: "This is the fifth illegal boat arrival to cross Australia’s borders in just over 24 hours - another successful pay day for the people smugglers who have again made millions off of the 350 passengers aboard these vessels.

"Already this year there have been over 10,000 people on more than 150 boats as this Government still refuses to introduce the Coalition’s vital border protection policies of Temporary Protection Visas and turning the boat back around when it is safe to do so.

"Nothing will send a stronger message that Australia will not have its borders run by these criminals than by undermining their key selling point of permanent residence in our country - this is why Temporary Protection Visas remains a key policy of the Coalition.

"How many more boat arrivals, policy failures and tragedies will it take before Labor concedes that the Howard Government had it right? " Mr Keenan said.

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