Locals question border policy

THE tragic disintegration of a boat carrying asylum seekers has been a talking point everywhere.

The events on Christmas Island this week have left many to question Australia’s border protection policy.

With 28 asylum seekers confirmed dead and 44 injured, there are fears for the welfare of another 30 people.

In the wake of the accident, it appears locals have mixed views about whether we are too heavy-handed but the need to assess individual circumstances and treat people humanely was a resounding concern.

The federal government is under increasing pressure to conduct a full-scale inquiry into how the Indonesian fishing vessel reached the island without being intercepted by customs or the navy.

The Australian Lawyers Alliance wants a full, independent judicial inquiry into how customs and the navy “exercised their duty” before and during the boat’s plight in the wild seas off Christmas Island.

Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor yesterday defended the reportedly slow response from naval and Customs boats saying they had to sail from a different part of the island.



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