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Labor must bring on Malaysia vote or back proven coalition solution



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Michael Keenan MP - Federal Member for Stirling LABOR MUST BRING ON MALAYSIA VOTE OR BACK PROVEN COALITION SOLUTION May 30, 2012

The latest illegal boat to arrive, with 40 people on board, comes as Labor is faced with yet another test on whether they will insist on support for their failed Malaysia solution from the Greens for a vote tomorrow or support the Coalition’s proven policies, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Scott Morrison and Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection, Michael Keenan said today.

“This latest arrival means 14 boats with 1,195 people on board have arrived in May, a record number of arrivals in a single month under Labor and yet the government continues to run from a vote in the Parliament on their failed Malaysia people swap,” Mr Morrison said.

“The Prime Minister should be calling Christine Milne into her office tonight to demand her coalition partner pass her Malaysia legislation as a matter of confidence, or admit they are using their failed Malaysian people swap as a lame excuse to do nothing,” he said.

“Julia Gillard demanded that every member of the Opposition record their names in a vote on the Malaysia people swap but has run from a vote at every opportunity including on Rob Oakeshott’s proxy bill which was due for a vote last Thursday.

“Faced with the choice between implementing the strong border protection policies of the Coalition and capitulating to the Greens through community release of boat arrivals, this Prime Minister continues to choose the Greens as every new boat arrives.

“Since Labor announced community release over 4,500 people have arrived as people smugglers sell an increasingly attractive business model presented to them by this failed government.

“The Australian people know that while Labor might run from a vote on their failed Malaysia people swap they can’t hide from their failure on our borders. That failure will only end with a change of government,” Mr Morrison said.

Mr Keenan said: “It is unacceptable that the protection of Australia’s borders relies on a single AFP officer in an inflatable boat to intercept 40 unauthorised arrivals.

“In just over two weeks the AFP have had to take on the role of the Border Protection Command because they are so severely overstretched due to Labor’s severe budgetary cuts to all frontline agencies.

“Senate Estimates hearings this week revealed that Border Protection Command’s vessels have been under severe strain and are often out of action for maintenance.

“The Government must clarify exactly what has occurred today and why the AFP have been placed in this position yet again.

“Specifically they must address the following -

· What type of vessel was used?

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· When and how did the AFP officer become aware that the vessel was in the area?

· Why was the AFP officer forced to undertake this task and not Border Protection Command?

· What health and safety risks this poses to both the AFP officer and the asylum seekers?

· How long will it take to transfer the asylum seekers to Christmas Island and what protocols are in place to manage them until that time?

“It is disgraceful that this situation has been allowed to happen more than once.

“This latest arrival just re-confirms to the Australian people that the Gillard Government’s lack of a border protection policy is placing lives at risk,” Mr Keenan said.

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

www.keenan.net.au

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