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Strong support for government's stand on unauthorised boat arrivals.

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Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600

Ph: 02 6277 7680 Email: Fax: 02 6273 4126

Strong Support for Government’s Stand on Unauthorised Boat Arrivals

A120/2001 3rd September 2001

There has been very strong support for the Government’s firm handling of the refugee crisis, Deputy Prime Minister, John Anderson, said today.

“Evidently, people feel that the time has come to take a strong stand in support of Australia’s laws on immigration and refugee intakes,” Mr Anderson said.

“The action the Government has taken undoubtedly sends a very strong message to people smugglers and queue jumpers.

“It was never the case that Australia would somehow force these people back to face inhumane treatment in their country of origin where they are able to prove that they are genuine refugees.

“The arrangements that have now been set up will ensure that the 460 people aboard the MV Tampa will be properly processed, some in New Zealand, and some in Nauru. Various nations, including Australia, will fairly share the task of resettling those with a genuine need for a safe haven,” he said.

Mr Anderson said that he is hopeful that the 460 people aboard the MV Tampa will be able to move quickly and safely to the HMAS Manoora.

“I am confident we have done what is right in the national interest, and at the same time acted fairly and humanely.”

Media Contact: Robyn Bain 02 6277 7680 / 0408 027 839