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Australia's opposition pledges tough asylum laws

Friday, Aug 16, 2013 - 01:29

Aug. 16 - Australia's opposition, tipped to win next month's election, promises to revive tough laws barring thousands of asylum seekers already in Australia from settling permanently. Lily Grimes reports.

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Asylum seekers making the often perilous journey to Australia are met by the authorities before they make land. Around 15,000 have arrived this year and immigration is a top issue ahead of September's election. The Labor government and opposition coalition are vying to take the tougher stance, aware that crucial election-winning seats will be largely won or lost on the economy and border security. Opposition leader Tony Abbott, tipped to win, promised on Friday to revive tough laws barring asylum seekers already in Australia from settling permanently. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LEADER OF THE LIBERAL, NATIONAL PARTY COALITION, TONY ABBOTT SAYING: "This is our country and we determine who comes here. That was the position under the last coalition government and that will be the position under any future coalition government. Tragically for Australia and tragically for so many people, it hasn't been the position under the current government." Polls show immigration to be a major issue for voters prompting Prime Minister Rudd to announce a deal in July to send all boat arrivals to Papua New Guinea. Abbott has promised to appoint a military commander to take charge of asylum issues. He said if he wins, the 30,000 asylum seekers currently in Australia would only receive temporary visas even if found to be refugees.

Australia's opposition pledges tough asylum laws

Friday, Aug 16, 2013 - 01:29

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