Friday, 17 April 2009

Heavier penalties for Indonesian crew

Alexander Downer has become another of those retired parliamentarians suffering from no longer being part of the political action but that does not mean everything he says should be ignored. In the interview on ABC local radio in Canberra this morning that has brought him back to media attention, the former Liberal Foreign Minister had one piece of advice that the Labor Government would be wise to follow. Mr Downer recalled that an important part of the Howard Government's strategy to deter people smuggling was to mount a public information campaign in Indonesian fishing villages warning fishermen of the penalties that would apply to them if they transported illegal immigrants to Australia. Perhaps this time the same kind of information campaign should be backed up with even harsher penalties for the crew of boats doing the smuggling.
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