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Another arrival as Labor shuts down debate and refuse to act

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Michael Keenan MP - Federal Member for Stirling ANOTHER ARRIVAL AS LABOR SHUTS DOWN DEBATE AND REFUSES TO ACT June 29, 2012

The arrival of the latest illegal boat, with 100 people on board, comes just hours after the government voted to disallow debate on a Coalition bill which sought to find common ground in the Parliament on restoring offshore processing with protections, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Scott Morrison and Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection, Michael Keenan said today.

"Boat arrivals continue to escalate under Labor’s failed policies as the Prime Minister continues to refuse to restore the policies that worked to stop the boats," Mr Morrison said.

"We don’t need more committees, we need to restore the policies that worked," he said.

"This week the Coalition endeavoured to gain support for the common ground that existed in the parliament to provide legislation to support offshore processing in 148 countries around the world that have signed the refugee Convention.

"These proposals were rejected by the Greens, Independent MPs Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor and of course the government.

"The Coalition still has a bill on the table that puts offshore processing for refugee convention countries beyond any legal doubt. This bill can still be supported by the government, despite the fact they voted early this morning to shut down this bill being considered by the Parliament, before rising for the winter recess.

"What matters now is what happens next. The Government can restore the Howard Government measures they abolished today, without any change to legislation.

"The Prime Minister should not be abrogating her responsibility to govern. There are options available that this Prime Minister should take.

"While the Coalition respects the members of the panel appointed by the Prime Minister the Australian people are more interested in action that needs to be taken now including reopening Nauru which can be done today as can reinstating temporary protection visas and issuing new instructions to the navy," Mr Morrison said.

Mr Keenan said: "In the last two days over 240 people have been smuggled across Australia’s borders making a total of 1,600 illegal arrivals for the month of June alone.

"More than 8,000 people on 110 boats have risked their lives on the dangerous journey to reach Australia this financial year.

"The Government’s failure to reach common ground has opened the flood gates for boat arrivals as the people smugglers have received the message loud and clear that this Government will not put a stop to their evil trade.

"Labor had an opportunity this week to pass the Coalition’s amendment to the Migration Act, which would have restored offshore processing with protections and would have been the right step to stopping the boats from coming," Mr Keenan said.

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