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Over 20, 000 arrivals as Labor's self inflicted policy paralysis continues

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Michael Keenan MP - Federal Member for Stirling OVER 20,000 ARRIVALS AS LABOR’S SELF INFLICTED POLICY PARALYSIS CONTINUES July 02, 2012

The arrival of the latest illegal boat, with 39 people on board, takes the total number of people to arrive on illegal boats to over 20,000 since Labor abolished the effective policies of the Howard Government and opened our borders to the people smugglers, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Scott Morrison and Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection, Michael Keenan said today.

"Over 20,000 people have risked their lives to come on illegal boats since Labor recklessly provided the people smugglers with a business model when they abandoned the proven border protection policies of the Coalition," Mr Morrison said.

"Restoring the Coalition’s proven policies does not require a change of law, just a change of government," he said.

"Labor refuses to restore the policies that worked and more than four years after abolishing these policies still don’t have an effective policy of their own, as they continue to outsource their responsibilities to others.

"Based on average fares paid for by people getting on illegal boats of $10,000, this has meant a boon of up to $200 million for people smugglers.

"Labor’s failure has led to chaos, cost and tragedies over many years now, yet they still seek to contract out their responsibilities and refuse to be held accountable for their massive failure.

"Labor cannot blame anyone other than themselves for the chaos, cost and tragedies that have resulted from their weak policies," Mr Morrison said.

Mr Keenan said: "Australia's Border Protection Command officers have now intercepted more than 20,000 people since Labor dismantled our working border protection regime.

"This rate of arrivals has not been sustainable for some time now. Our Australian service men and women have been suffering under the strain and the vessels tasked with intercepting the boats are requiring constant maintenance to keep up with the taxing workload.

"In the last five days over 332 people have been smuggled across Australia’s borders, which means our Border Protection Command officers have not had any respite or the chance to recuperate after one of the most disastrous weeks at sea.

"Labor needs to swallow their pride and implement policies that actually work or give Customs the resources and funding they need to keep up with this constant flood of arrivals," Mr Keenan said.

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