Australia MPs warned of refugee deaths

2012-06-29 10:00
AP

AP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Sydney - Australian politicians were warned on Friday of more asylum-seeker boat deaths while parliament goes on a six-week winter break after they failed to find a compromise on the divisive issue.

Parliament broke up on Thursday after Senate opposition and Greens lawmakers rejected a private member's bill to send boatpeople offshore for processing, leaving the issue at a stalemate following a spate of deadly incidents.

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie said parliamentarians should not be going into recess when such an important matter remained unresolved.

"We should be sitting today, we should have continued sitting last night, we should sit next week, we should sit until we get a solution," he told state broadcaster ABC.

"I think there is every chance in the world that more people will die during this six-week recess," he said.

The bill was introduced after two crowded asylum-seeker boats sank off the remote Australian territory of Christmas Island, near Indonesia, over the past week.

People-swap plan

In the first incident, 110 people were saved and an estimated 90 drowned while the sinking of a second boat on Wednesday left four dead, with 130 rescued.

With few legislative options left, Prime Minister Julia Gillard commissioned an expert review led by former defence force chief Angus Houston to look at the policy with "fresh eyes".

She promised to take on board whatever it suggested, but would not commit to dropping her controversial Malaysia people-swap plan if doing so was recommended.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott described her move as a pointless exercise.

"This committee is not a solution. This is outsourcing the prime ministership," he said as politicians began leaving Canberra for their constituencies.

Since January a stream of asylum-seekers have attempted to reach Australia by boat, with the latest vessel carrying 44 passengers intercepted overnight taking the 2012 total to 68 boats with 5 046 on board.

Most come from Indonesia on unseaworthy vessels.

The government wants to send them to Malaysia for processing, but the opposition refuses to agree, arguing Kuala Lumpur is not a signatory to UN refugee conventions.

Abbott favours re-opening a detention centre on the Pacific island of Nauru and turning boats back where possible. The left-leaning Greens, on whom the government relies for its rule, are opposed to any offshore processing.

Read more on:    julia gillard  |  australia
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Cape Town - 18:51 PM
    Road name: M5 Southbound
    DELAYS between the N1 Koeberg Interchange and the N2 Interchange
  • Tuesday Belhar - 17:58 PM
    Road name: Belhar Drive
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Alabama Drive
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9380

The first BlackBerry Curve smartphone with a touch screen Stay connected...

From R1799.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may come up to alert you of your security needs. It may be that you need to create a better structure for your finances...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.