Typhoid cases on latest boats highlight the risk of Labor’s border failures
Monday 27th February 2012
The confirmation of two cases of typhoid for asylum seekers on recent illegal boat arrivals to Christmas Island highlights again the risks and consequences of Labor’s failed border protection policies, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Scott Morrison said today.
“When illegal boats turn up in our waters there will always be the risk that people on these boats will carry serious communicable diseases. The more boats there are, the greater the risk of serious diseases presenting,” Mr Morrison said.
“Last year there were 56 cases of communicable disease from those who had arrived on illegal boats. These cases included everything from Tuberculosis and Hepatitis C to Chlamydia and Syphilis. These latest cases have now added typhoid to the list,” he said.
“Of greatest immediate concern is the risk to Australians living on Christmas Island, including children attending the local schools, as well those who come in direct contact with asylum seekers including our defence forces, Customs and border protection officers, federal police, detention centre workers, health professionals and immigration staff.
“These Australians have been living on the front line of Labor’s failed border protection for the past four years.
“Despite the best efforts of our health professionals and other officials responsible for dealing with these situations, there are no guarantees that the arrival of people carrying these diseases could not lead to an outbreak on Christmas Island or the transfer of these diseases to the mainland. This is the risk of failed border protection policy.
“In the past three months more than 2,100 people have turned up on 26 illegal boats. This is the highest number of arrivals over summer on record and 50% more than Labor’s previous record two year ago.
“Labor’s largest ever summer of boats followed their decision to introduce mainstream release of asylum seekers into the community, with support payments, free housing and set up packages worth up to $10,000.
“As long as Labor’s soft policies on our borders continue, these boats will continue to arrive along with the risks they carry, including people with serious communicable diseases,” Mr Morrison said.
The following communicable diseases were detected in immigration detention facilities on Christmas Island from 1 July 2010 to 6 May 2011 –
Diagnosis – Total
Chlamydia – 4
Dengue – 2
Gonorrhoea – 1
Hepatitis B – 10
Hepatitis C – 3
Malaria – 1
Pertussis – 1
Shingles – 3
Syphilis – 29
Tetanus – 1
(active) – 1
Grand Total 56
Source: Question on Notice, 11/12 Budget Estimates (BE11/0615)
- Christmas Island typhoid cases pose minimal risk: officials (smh.com.au)
- Typhoid detected on Christmas Island (news.com.au)