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Boat arrival marks Gillard's first anniversary

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Media Release

Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship - Scott Morrison, MP Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection - Michael Keenan, MP

24 June 2011


The people smugglers have sent Julia Gillard a strong message, to mark her first anniversary as Prime Minister, as another boat carrying 65 asylum seekers and 2 crew have been intercepted, Shadow Minister for Productivity and Population & Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Scott Morrison and Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection, Michael Keenan said today.

“65 asylum seekers will now join the 275 being kept in limbo on Christmas Island, since Julia Gillard first announced her yet to be completed Malaysian people swap,” Mr Morrison said.

“Since Julia Gillard became Prime Minster, there have been 90 illegal boats carrying more than 5000 people.

“Given people smugglers have been a significant beneficiary of Julia Gillard's failed border protection policies, it is only fitting they have sent the Prime Minister a clear message on her first anniversary,” he said.

“During the next few days I will have a first hand opportunity to see how asylum seekers will live, when they are sent here to Malaysia, by the Australian Government.

“It is important that Australians understand the human consequences of this decision, when a more humane, more cost effective and proven solution is available by reopening Nauru and reintroducing Temporary Protection Visas,” Mr Morrison said.

Mr Keenan said: “When Julia Gillard assassinated Kevin Rudd she cited his border protection failures as one of the reasons Labor had lost their way.”

“Yet one of her first acts as Prime Minister was to axe the Border Protection Committee of Cabinet.

“She subsequently took the axe to Customs and Border Protection, the Australian Federal Police and every single one of our front line security agencies,” he said.

“Julia Gillard inherited a bad situation and managed to make it even worse.

“People are now arriving in Australia illegally at a faster rate under Julia Gillard than they were under Kevin Rudd,” Mr Keenan said.