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1500 + arrivals since Nauru decision as navy goes back to running water taxi service

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Michael Keenan MP - Federal Member for Stirling 1500 + ARRIVALS SINCE NAURU DECISION AS NAVY GOES BACK TO RUNNING WATER TAXI SERVICE September 06, 2012

The arrival of another 146 people on two more boats means more than 1,500 people have now arrived before Nauru is even open, while our Navy is back running a water taxi service for rescued asylum seekers, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Scott Morrison and Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection, Michael Keenan said today.

"It took the Howard Government just 19 days to get Nauru up and running. During that time 542 people turned up on three boats, and they all went to Nauru," Mr Morrison said.

"It has now been 24 days since Julia Gillard was dragged kicking and screaming to agree to reopen Nauru. In that time more than 1,500 people have turned up on 27 boats, including these latest arrivals, which exceeds the expected capacity on Nauru.

"The longer it takes to get Nauru open, the more problems Labor will continue to create for themselves, with lawyers circling every boat that arrives.

"The number of those to have arrived to date means it will be impossible that all those who turn up before Nauru is open will be sent there.

"Despite the delays in getting temporary accommodation up and running, the Government also still has no legal authority to send people to Nauru, due to their failure to get the Parliament to green light Nauru two weeks ago.

"In addition, our Navy is also now back running their water taxi service again for these latest arrivals.

"The Government’s failure to reach an agreement this week for asylum seekers to be returned to Indonesia where they are picked up in the Indonesia search and rescue zone, means people getting on boats will continue to expect to be taken to Australia by our Navy if they get into distress.

"This is a dangerous precedent that the Government continues to allow to stand and will continue to provide a further reason for someone to get on a boat," Mr Morrison said.

Mr Keenan said: "In the past week there have been seven boats intercepted carrying over 420 people, plus almost one hundred more lives lost at sea, on this treacherous journey to Australia - further evidence that this trade in human misery must be stopped.

"Labor has allowed over 24,000 people to flood across Australia’s borders since they came to office - but even with these ever increasing record breaking numbers they still refuse to return to the full suite of Howard Government policies.

"The people smugglers are challenging this Government’s resolve and the only answer they have is a Youtube video campaign and further delays to establishing offshore processing on Nauru.

"We do not need further time wasting and more indecisive dawdling; we need a comprehensive suite of border protection policies to stop the boats from coming," Mr Keenan said.

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