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Boats get bigger as Labor's crises of denial continues on borders

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Michael Keenan MP - Federal Member for Stirling BOATS GET BIGGER AS LABOR’S CRISIS OF DENIAL CONTINUES ON BORDERS May 21, 2012

The arrival of the largest number of people on an illegal boat in more than two years comes as arrivals remain at record levels in 2012, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Scott Morrison and Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection, Michael Keenan said today.

"Not since February 2010 has there been an illegal boat carrying as many people as the 175 reported on the latest arrival," Mr Morrison said.

"As Labor's refusal to restore the policies that worked under John Howard continues, the boats keep getting bigger and Labor's self made crisis on our borders continues to get worse," he said.

"Arrivals are occurring at double the rate of 450 per month estimated by the Government to prepare the budget released less than two weeks ago. It is now likely the 1,000 barrier will be broken this month after 971 arrivals in April.

"Labor’s budget showed a blow out in costs of $1.7 billion in the past twelve months for boat arrivals, with half of the blow out occurring after the Government had factored in their failed Malaysian people swap. At Senate Estimates this week the Department of Immigration will have to come clean and admit that given the higher than expected rate of arrivals, the latest budget figures are also likely to blow out as well.

"The Government's refusal to reopen Nauru and restore temporary protection visas in preference to the Greens policies of community release and bridging visas demonstrates they are not genuine when it comes to border protection and cannot be trusted.

"These measures require no legislation and could be implemented tomorrow. It is clear that the only way these measures will now be restored is if Labor is voted out of office at an election," Mr Morrison said.

Mr Keenan said: "The interception of the 40th illegal boat arrival for the year is confirmation that we are set for yet another record breaking year under the failed border protection policies of the Gillard Government.

"So far this year the Gillard Government has allowed more boats to arrive illegally than in the last six years of the Howard Government - reinforcing to all Australians the calamitous state in which Labor has placed our borders.

"Unfortunately the Labor Government is much more intent on playing a ridiculous blame game than actually doing their job and fixing the border crisis they created.

"But no amount of smoke and mirrors tricks can hide the fact that this incompetent Government not only has no semblance of a border protection policy but instead continues to axe millions in funding from the very frontline border protection agencies that they have left to pick up the pieces," Mr Keenan said.

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