There were just four people in immigration detention when the Howard Government was voted out of office in 2007. One of the first things Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard did was to weaken the Howard government’s border protection scheme and precipitate the current and increasing flow of people smugglers’ vessels.
The Rudd/Gillard Government was warned three months after it came to power that closing Nauru detention centre would cause a jump in people smuggling to Australia. More than 12,000 people have arrived by boat since then – and more than 400 are estimated to have died.
Even drawing the longest bow, it’s obvious who is responsible for regenerating the people smuggling business and the loss of life. And it’s not Tony Abbott.
THE arrival of two more boatloads of asylum-seekers at Christmas Island has turned an already fiery political debate over offshore processing into a conflagration of blame.
Dennis Shanahan in the Australian writes: “Julia Gillard is in no doubt that Tony Abbott is to blame for the arrival of the latest boats and will be to blame for every extra arrival. Hold on ….. wasn’t it Gillard and Rudd who changed John Howard’s policy that opened the door for people smugglers?”
As two new boats arrive, Labor calls Tony Abbott a friend to people-smugglers
Julia Gillard attacks the Coalition for opposing its Malaysia Solution following the arrival of two new asylum-seeker boats.
Picture: Kym Smith, Source: The Australian
JULIA Gillard has blamed Tony Abbott for the arrival of two new asylum-seeker boats, saying his refusal to back her Malaysian Solution made him responsible for the unauthorised vessels and all others that would follow.
With Australia’s border protection system still in limbo, the Prime Minister today urged Mr Abbott to rethink his position and support the government amendments to put offshore processing beyond doubt.