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Border the issue, not PNG solution: Newman

Staff Reporter 8/14/2013 | |
QUEENSLAND'S premier says he's never "had a go" at federal Labor's PNG solution, but he wants better border security in the Torres Strait.
Campbell Newman says his jaw dropped when he found out only 13 federal border protection officers were patrolling the Torres Strait.
The area includes 270 islands spread over an area of about 48,000 square kilometres.
"It's a vast area, hundreds of islands and 13 people is the answer according to the federal minister," Mr Newman told reporters.
"It's not good enough."
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman : AAP Photo
He said he hadn't ever criticised the PNG solution, but he had raised legitimate concerns about border security in the Torres Strait, which have been around for decades.
"It's a porous border, an open border, and if we're going to have thousands of people in PNG, who don't want to be in PNG for their ultimate settlement, then we need to do something about the border," he said.
"The prime minister is welcome to his PNG solution, but he's got to do a better job of border security."
When asked if the Queensland government would consider posting police on remote islands like Sabai or Boigu, the premier said border protection was not his responsibility.
"(Prime Minister) Kevin Rudd, if he wants the PNG solution to work, he needs to essentially, properly close the border."


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