Image provided by the merchant vessel MV Bison Express.
Image provided by the merchant vessel MV Bison Express. Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Houston confident over asylum fix

FORMER Defence Force chief Angus Houston says he is "under no illusions" as to how challenging his task will be to navigate a way through the border protection policy impasse.

On Thursday the Senate struck down a bill from independent MP Rob Oakeshott which tried to restore the Government's ability to process asylum seekers offshore.

In response, Prime Minister Julia Gillard formed a three-member expert panel to reassess Australia's approach to border protection issues.

It is the latest bid to end the political stalemate that has gripped Parliament since two asylum seeker boats capsized killing almost 100 people.

Air Chief Marshal Houston, along with former head of Foreign Affairs and Trade Michael L'Estrange and immigration lawyer Paris Aristotle, have been given six weeks to come up with a solution to the current deadlock - preferably one which will be acceptable to the Parliament.

Read more at ABC news online.



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