Media Release

Another illegal boat as Labor runs up white flag on our borders

Another illegal boat has arrived, with 39 people on board, fresh from Labor running up the white flag on their half hearted policies by announcing 700 new detention beds in Australia and their new policy of releasing thousands of boat arrivals into the community on welfare, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Scott Morrison and Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection, Michael Keenan said today.

“The arrival of another illegal boat, with 39 people on board is the 33rd to arrive in just three weeks and comes fresh from Labor’s admission that its half hearted policies and half hearted resolve on our borders have failed after announcing more detention beds in Australia and releasing thousands of people into the community on bridging visas,” Mr Morrison said.

“Labor’s surrender on our borders demonstrates they can’t stop the boats and never will. Over 30,000 people have arrived on illegal boats under this failed government and more than 2,000 people are now turning up every month.

“Julia Gillard and Chris Bowen have been overwhelmed by their failure and are now moving thousands of boat arrivals into the community on welfare and building more detention beds at a cost they won’t reveal.

“There is nothing temporary about Labor’s border failure. Their heart is not in stopping the boats and they lack the resolve and the full suite of proven policies.

“Labor MP Andrew Leigh this morning confirmed again what Labor really thinks when it comes to boat arrivals when he, like his colleagues before him, accused proponents of strong border policies of racism.

“Only an election will give the Australian people the chance to stop the boats by voting for a Coalition government which believes in strong borders and has the full suite of proven policies and resolve to stop the boats,” Mr Morrison said.

Mr Keenan said: “The arrival of the 33rd boat for November comes amid the complete breakdown of Labor’s latest attempt at border protection – with on average more than 2,000 people arriving by boat on Australia’s shores every month.

“Yesterday’s announcement by the Government was just the latest in a series of backflips and policy positions that have characterised Labor’s approach to border protection.

“Labor just doesn’t have the credibility left to implement policy changes and be taken seriously by people smugglers or people who might use their services.

“Just yesterday the Minister for Immigration was bragging that his Government was sending a strong message to the people smugglers by sending 500 people back home in the last few months – what he failed to mention was the fact that over 7,700 people have arrived in that time.

“This is yet another example of a Government that is making it up as they go along.

“Only an election and a Coalition Government will be able to fix this catastrophe at our borders,” Mr Keenan said.