Media Release

Labor's border failures exceed our worst expectations with more than 30,000 arrivals

Labor’s border failures have now resulted in more than 30,000 people illegally entering Australia on boats, following the illegal arrival of the latest two boats carrying more than 100 people, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Scott Morrison said today.

“Labor's failure on our borders has exceeded our worst expectations with more than 30,000 illegal arrivals by boat on their watch,” Mr Morrison said.

“30,000 arrivals is greater than the population of cities like Alice Springs, Warrnambool, Nowra, Albany, Maryborough and Devonport. It is around one and a half times the size of cities like Goulburn, Armidale, Whyalla and Mount Isa.

“30,000 arrivals is greater than the seating capacity of Simonds Stadium in Geelong, Skilled Park on the Gold Coast, the WACA in Perth and Canberra Stadium. It is also almost one and a half times greater the size of the Sharks home ground at Cronulla, Parramatta Stadium, Skoda Stadium in Homebush and Panthers Stadium in Penrith.

“Labor's failures on our borders are getting worse and their half hearted policies and commitment are not up to the job.

“Of the 30,057 arrivals on 515 boats, more than half this number (15,403) have turned up this year and more than a third (10,146) have turned up since July 1. The current rate of arrivals of more than 2,000 every month is the equivalent of the QE2 turning up every month with a full complement of passengers.

“Labor simply cannot stop the boats.

“More people have turned up on more boats in 2012 alone than the entire 11 and a half years of the Howard Government, yet Labor still refuse to acknowledge they got it horribly wrong when they abolished the Howard Government's policies and continue to get it wrong by refusing to restore them.

“At the average rate of arrivals over the full term of the Howard Government, it would have taken John Howard more than 25 years as Prime Minister to reach what Labor has done in less than five. At the rate of arrivals that occurred after the successful Howard Government policies were put in place it would have taken more than half a millennia to reach 30,000 arrivals.

“Labor's failures on our borders have increased threefold since the last election. In Labor's first term there were 7,349 illegal boat arrivals. So far in their second term there have been more than 22,000. The average monthly rate of arrivals over Labor's second term is almost four times higher and at current levels is ten times greater than in Labor's first term.

“Thanks to Labor's spectacular failure, the problems on our borders have never been more difficult to solve. It will be harder to fix now than after the last election, and harder than it was 11 years ago when John Howard was faced with this problem.

“Australia cannot afford another term of Labor's failures on our borders. Only the Coalition has the proven record and demonstrated resolve to fix Labor's mess on our borders.

“At the next election the people of Australia will have the opportunity to end Labor's failure by changing the Government,” Mr Morrison said.