Senate debates

Tuesday, 10 December 2013


Asylum Seekers; Order for the Production of Documents

5:07 pm

Photo of Kim CarrKim Carr (Victoria, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader for Science) Share this | Hansard source

it failed dismally. An Australian Customs patrol boat had to end up rescuing the 40 people. The matter has been canvassed in a number of newspapers in Australia. A fishing boat's engine had apparently stopped 20 kilometres from Christmas Island and it is believed that the government was seeking to tow this vessel back to Indonesia. The incident occurred on a Friday night and it actually took till Sunday to get the passengers from this vessel deposited on Christmas Island, where of course the matter became public from that point on.

This may well not be the first occasion this has occurred. It reflects, to my mind, a real danger of the tow-back policy. As we have heard from across the chamber, this is not uncommon when you are towing wooden vessels. It is one of the consequences of doing these things on the high seas. But it is core government policy—this is the point. The government policy is incredibly dangerous.


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