Charles Gutjahr

Melbourne, Australia

The Coalition government is now more responsible for deaths at sea

17 Feb 2019 — a 1 minute read on opinion

For some years the Liberal and National parties have held Labor responsible for the deaths at sea of asylum seekers, and I think that's fair: around 1000 died during the Labor government and I reckon different policies could have prevented those deaths.

Now it's the opposite: from now on the Coalition is responsible if anyone dies at sea.

Their reaction to our parliament doing the right thing and legislating for medical evacuations has been to claim it will encourage more boats. That's bullshit. The law clearly does not apply to future asylum seekers, so the only thing that would encourage boats is someone telling them spuriously that border protection has been weakened. The only people making that false claim are the Coalition. That makes the Coalition responsible for any new boat arrivals — and any tragic deaths at sea.