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70 boat people who tried to make it to Australia is the fault of Bill Shorten, Peter Dutton claims 

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Nearly 70 boat people who tried to make it to Australia in recent months is the fault of Bill Shorten – and they would’ve made it to the mainland if he was PM, Peter Dutton claims

  • Peter Dutton says boatpeople come to Australia because of the Labor Party
  • A boatload of Sri Lankan asylum-seekers were intercepted near Australia
  • Australian Border Force intercepted the boat off Christmas Island on Sunday 
  • The Home Affairs Minister blames the attempt on the former Opposition Leader 
  • He said if Mr Shorten wont the election, the boat would have made it to mainland

Peter Dutton claims boat people are attempting to get to Australia because of Bill Shorten – and says they would make it on to the mainland if Labor won the federal election.

Another boatload of Sri Lankan asylum seekers bound for Australia was intercepted  in the Indian Ocean on Sunday night – the third such incident since May.  

Australian Border Force agents seized the vessel off Christmas Island, before the group was taken ashore and put on a flight back to Colombo on a government charter plane.  

A boatload of Sri Lankan asylum-seekers headed for Australia was intercepted in the Indian Ocean on Sunday night - the third incident since May. Authorities intercepted a vessel (pictured) carrying 20 Sri Lankan asylum seekers off Australia's north-west coast in May

A boatload of Sri Lankan asylum-seekers headed for Australia was intercepted in the Indian Ocean on Sunday night – the third incident since May. Authorities intercepted a vessel (pictured) carrying 20 Sri Lankan asylum seekers off Australia’s north-west coast in May

Peter Dutton claims that boatpeople are attempting to get to Australia because of Bill Shorten, and says they would make it onto the mainland if he won the federal election

Peter Dutton claims that boatpeople are attempting to get to Australia because of Bill Shorten, and says they would make it onto the mainland if he won the federal election

The Home Affairs Minister confirmed the incident during question time on Tuesday and blamed the attempt on former Opposition Leader Mr Shorten.  

‘Those people no doubt would have landed here under the Labor Party,’ he told parliament.

‘The reality is that boats had already been put on the water during the election campaign in anticipation of the member for Maribyrnong (Mr Shorten) – remember him?’   

Labor’s home affairs spokeswoman Kristina Keneally begged to differ.

‘This boat attempted to come on Minister Dutton’s watch. It’s his competence in question,’ she said. 

The vessel left Sri Lanka in late June, but it wasn’t until July 19 that ABF officers intercepted it in waters north-west of Australia.  

The incident marks the third time a group of refugees have attempted to reach Australia by sea since the federal election. 

The Home Affairs Minister confirmed the incident during question time on Tuesday and blames the attempt on former Opposition Leader Mr Shorten (pictured)

The Home Affairs Minister confirmed the incident during question time on Tuesday and blames the attempt on former Opposition Leader Mr Shorten (pictured)

A total of 67 asylum seekers have been found and sent home since the election, with the first being in late May, holding about 20 people,

Last month an Australian aerial patrol helped save 41 people on board, with the assistance of the Sri Lankan Navy as their boat began to sink in the Indian ocean. 

Opposition home affairs spokeswoman Kristina Keneally said Labor supports Operation Sovereign Borders, despite Mr Shorten walking away from it during the election.

The vessel left Sri Lanka in late June, but it wasn't until July 19 that ABF officers intercepted it in waters north-west of Australia. Pictured: sunken vessel believed to be carrying asylum-seekers found off Queensland in August 2018

The vessel left Sri Lanka in late June, but it wasn’t until July 19 that ABF officers intercepted it in waters north-west of Australia. Pictured: sunken vessel believed to be carrying asylum-seekers found off Queensland in August 2018

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