Sunday February 27, 2011 7:30am WST
For Immediate Release
"Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison may have found another nice one-liner to trot out his familiar rant about "Labor's failed border protection", but he's entirely ignoring what happened during 2001, when the Howard government encountered the then largest boat influx in history," WA Human Rights group Project SafeCom said this morning.
"Since yesterday's arrival of a boat with 102 passengers, Mr Morrison alleges that people smugglers have taken to bigger boats, claiming the average passengers per boat increased from 50 last year to 70 this year, and he tries to bring this forth as evidence of the Gillard government's policy failures, but he conveniently ignores the arrival of 5,516 asylum seekers in 43 boats in 2001 - producing an average of 128 passengers per boat during that year."
Our complete table of boat arrivals since 1976 is here:
"Mr Morrison needs to stop trotting out populist lines and declare, without any spin or avoidance, whether he, if he would be immigration minister, will adhere to our UN obligations and to international law, which defines for Australia a clear and unambiguous responsibility to assess all protection claims for anyone arriving on our border. Mr Morrison, just like his hardline faction in the Liberal party, tries to treat boat arrivals as criminals, as scum and as people to be destroyed and condemned."
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]