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Number of asylum-seeker arrivals in Australia hits record high

07-30-2012 11:48 BJT

SYDNEY, July 30 (Xinhua) -- The number of asylum-seekers arriving by boat in Australian waters in 2012 has hit a record high, local media reported on Monday.

The official records indicate 6,765 people have arrived by boat in Australian waters so far in 2012, breaking the record set in 2010, when 6,555 arrived, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) .

Federal Opposition Immigration Spokesman Michael Keenan said the figures showed that the Federal Government at the moment was dysfunctional.

"Clearly that's completely unsustainable and in any functional government it would precipitate a change in policy. But the government in Canberra at the moment is so dysfunctional that they 're just going to sit and let this situation deteriorate," he told the ABC.

"This means that 2012 is now the worst year on record for people arriving illegally in Australia, the illegal arrivals that have happened today this year have eclipsed the illegal arrivals in any previous year, and of course we're only in July."

Two asylum-seeker boats were intercepted by the Australian government patrol boats on Saturday, local media reported.

The passengers will be sent to Christmas Island and Darwin detention center for health, security and identity checks.


Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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