Wednesday, 12 October 2011
I, and also on behalf of Senator Hansen-Young, move the motion as amended:
That the Senate— (a) recalls, with regret, that on 19 October 2001, the SIEV X carrying approximately 400 asylum seekers sank on its way to Australia, resulting in the drowning of 146 children, 142 women and 65 men and only 41 people survived; and (b) notes that: (i) in interviews with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, survivors told of the involvement of the Indonesian military in the boarding and organising of the voyage, (ii) survivors reported that they saw two military vessels appear, shine lights on the water and sail away, (iii) HMAS Arunta stood 4 hours away, (iv) Australia maintained a People Smuggling Disruption Program in the region at the time, (v) the Australian listening station at Shoal Bay was operational at the time, and (vi) many outstanding serious questions remain about the failure to rescue desperate people in the water and must be answered in the interest of justice and humanity; and (c) calls on the Government to establish a judicial inquiry into the SIEV X, subsequent investigations in the SIEV X tragedy and all circumstances pertaining to its voyage, loss and rescue of survivors.
The Senate divided. [15:49]
(The Deputy President—Senator Parry)