Australia needs border protection to protect itself: PM

13:01, June 27, 2010      

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Australia needs to protect itself when it comes to border protection and asylum seekers, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said on Sunday.

The new prime minister, who penned Labor's immigration policy, titled Protecting Australia, Protecting the Australian Way, said her attitude is the same as it was then.

"My attitude is exactly the same," Gillard told Network Nine on Sunday.

"I think it's caught by that title, Protecting Australia, we want to do that, this is our sanctuary, this is our home.

"Protecting the Australian Way - I think that's about protecting values, like we've all got care and concern for innocent children."

Labor's policy was proving effective, with 98 percent of boats intercepted in Australian waters.

Gillard said there are more assets patrolling Australia's borders than under the previous John Howard government who did not have such high levels of interception.

"One in ten (boats) used to hit the mainland (under Howard)," she said.

Ousted Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, has suspended the processing of the claims of Sri Lankan asylum seekers for three months and Afghanistan asylum seekers for six months.

Gillard said she would have more to say on the issue of immigration ahead of the July 8 review of processing the claims of Sri Lankans.

"I've got a decision to make quite quickly about what to do about the processing pause we've got in place," she said.

The first boatload of nearly 100 asylum seekers was intercepted in Australian waters on Saturday.

It was the first during Gillard's prime ministership.

Source: Xinhua


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