Asylum seeker boat reportedly intercepted off Christmas Island

Asylum seeker boat reportedly intercepted off Christmas Island

The Immigration Department is refusing to confirm reports an asylum seeker boat has reached Christmas Island, before being intercepted by the Australian navy.

Local residents have told Australian media a wooden boat came within 200 metres of Flying Fish Cove this morning.

The boat was then intercepted by a Navy vessel and reportedly escorted to Smith Point, where the group was offloaded on to another Navy ship.

It is unclear at this stage where those on board have been taken.

A spokesperson for Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has released a statement, saying the department will not comment on operational matters.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has also refused to comment on the reports when questioned by journalists today.

“As you know, we don’t comment on operational matters,” he said.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has condemned the government’s refusal to comment on such matters, and says it needs to come clean.

“The idea that the government doesn’t even want to acknowledge that this boat exists is farcical,” she said.

“It exists, people have seen it, what we now need to know is what is the government doing to ensure the safety of people on board.”

“We need to know are there women and children on board this boat. What conditions are the people in on board, and what will happen to them now?”

Labor’s Immigration spokesperson Richard Marles has also called on the government to immediately confirmed if the Navy intercepted the boat.

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Libby Dreyer
Libby Dreyer 1729 posts

Libby has worked as a Senior Journalist at National Radio News since February 2011. She graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Canberra in December 2010.

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