500 refugee boats

Date

4BC Drive: This week, the five hundreth boat carrying people smugglers arrived on Aussie shores, totalling almost thirty thousand people since Labor came into power in 2007.

Shadow Minister for Immigration and Population Scott Morrision tells Gary Hardgrave that something has to be done.

LISTEN: Scott Emerson with Gary Hardgrave

Asylum Seeker Boat Arrival facts

Total number of arrivals since November 2007 - 29,054

Total number of boats since November 2007 - 500

TOTAL NUMBER OF ARRIVALS SINCE POLLING DAY (21 August 2010) – 346 Boats – 21,705 people

TOTAL NUMBER OF ARRIVALS SINCE GILLARD (24 June 2010) –360 Boats –22,502 people

TOTAL NUMBER OF ARRIVALS SINCE MALAYSIA ANNOUNCEMENT (7 May 2011) – 276 Boats – 17,477 people (excl crew)

TOTAL NUMBER OF ARRIVALS SINCE SIGNING OF MALAYSIA DEAL (25 July 2011) – 265 Boats – 17,055 people (excl crew)

Total number of arrivals since 31 August 2011 (High Court decision) 260 boats –16,866 people

Total number of arrivals since 13 October 2011 (Government abandons legislation) 255 boats – 16,462 people

Total number of arrivals since 25 November 2011 (Bridging visa announcement) – 241 boats – 15,505 people

Total number of arrivals since 24 March 2012 when single assessment system begins to apply – 212 boats and 13,142 people
Total number of arrivals since 14 August 2012 when Government agreed to re‐open Nauru (without restoring TPVs and turning boats back) –114 boats – 6,537 people

News Update

More Sri Lankans forced to return home

Another 30 Sri Lankan asylum seekers who arrived in Australia by boat have been sent home.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says the men were "involuntarily" returned to Colombo on a charter flight on Thursday.

It brings to 186 the number of Sri Lankan asylum seekers the government has sent home since it embraced its tough new immigration policies in mid-August.

Mr Bowen said the men raised no issues that engaged Australia's international obligations.

"Without a valid visa they had no legal right to remain in Australia and were removed at the earliest opportunity," Mr Bowen said in a statement on Thursday.

The government would continue to regularly transfer asylum seekers to Nauru and would shortly start sending people to Manus Island too, the minister said.

"And where appropriate, the government will certainly continue to return people where they do not engage Australia's international obligations," he said.

Mr Bowen's announcement came as a boat carrying 35 people was intercepted near the Cocos Islands.

Coalition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison says it is the 500th boat to arrive since Labor was elected in 2007.

"Today is a dark day for Australia," Mr Morrison said in a statement.

"This milestone has come with great cost, chaos and tragedy. The only winners are the people smugglers."

More than 750 asylum seekers have arrived on 15 boats in just the past eight days.

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