Media Release from Michael Keenan:
2012 was the year for record breaking numbers of boat arrivals under Labor, with 271 boats, carrying over 17,000 people, smuggled across our borders in just 12 months, Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection Michael Keenan said.
“More illegal boats arrived on our shores this year than in the entire 12 years of the Howard Government,” Mr Keenan said.
“Despite Labor’s half hearted attempts at reopening offshore processing on Nauru there was on average more than 2000 people arriving illegally each month this financial year –the equivalent to the QE2 docking at Christmas Island every month for the last six months.
“It was Prime Minister Julia Gillard who said ‘another boat, another policy failure’. There have now been 543 such policy failures under Labor, of which nearly 75% have occurred on her watch.
“Every time Labor has reached another shameful milestone in their border protection crisis they have chosen the path of least resistance rather than implementing the full suite of Coalition policies that would stop the boats from coming.
“The Coalition has offered time and time again to support the Government in reintroducing temporary protection visas and turning the boats back around when it is safe to do so but at every opportunity Labor refused.
“Until there is a change of Government we can expect Labor to deliver thousands more boat arrivals and billions of wasted tax payer money in 2013,”Mr Keenan said.