Australia government claims boatpeople policy is working
AFPSYDNEY--Australia remained adamant Wednesday that its asylum-seeker policy was working, despite another boat sinking and nearly 3,000 people arriving since the ruling Labor party announced a new hard-line stance last month.
August 22, 2013, 12:04 am TWN
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who is trailing in the opinion polls to conservative rival Tony Abbott ahead of September 7 elections, has gambled his fortunes on a plan to send boatpeople to Papua New Guinea for processing and resettlement.
While it has slowed the flow of people-smuggling boats, nearly 3,000 asylum-seekers have arrived by sea since the so-called “PNG Solution” was announced on July 19.
Barely 300, all single men, have so far been transferred to the poverty-stricken Pacific nation.
“There is no doubt that it is having an impact,” Immigration Minister Tony Burke, who has previously cited widespread evidence from Indonesia that asylum-seekers were demanding their money back from people-smugglers, told ABC television.