Another asylum seeker boat found

AS CUSTOM officials called off the search for survivors of the Christmas Island boat tragedy on Sunday, another boat carrying up to 60 asylum seekers was found making its way down the same treacherous route.

On Sunday afternoon a Border Protection Command spokesperson confirmed 110 survivors including nine children and 17 bodies had been pulled from the water since an Indonesian boat sank of Christmas Island late Thursday.

While a possible 63 people remained unaccounted for, the spokesperson said the search had been suspended due to medical advice and reports from air surveillance crews that there were no survivors in the area.

Soon after, another illegal boat was found travelling south-west of Christmas Island.

Those on-board were transferred onto the HMAS Leeuwin for health and security checks.

Thursday's sinking prompted renewed calls from refugee advocates and politicians from all sides for the Federal Government to strengthen its immigration policies.

On Saturday Greens Senator Sarah Hanson Young led one of nine Walk Together gatherings across the country celebrating the contribution refugees, asylum seekers and new arrivals make to Australia.

That afternoon Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said he and his colleagues wanted to "work together across the parliament to secure an outcome that reduces the possibility of a tragedy like this being repeated".

Liberal MP Mal Washer urged Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to support the Gillard Government's proposed Malaysia Solution which was blocked in parliament last year.

Speaking to reporters in Melbourne on Sunday Mr Abbott said it was up to the Labor Government to say what it was going to do differently and described the Malaysian people-swap as "offshore dumping" rather than offshore processing.

"There have been thousands of boat people arrive illegally since this position was first announced and this position is limited to 800 people," Mr Abbott said.

"So, plainly, it's simply inadequate as a response to the scale of the problem that has been created."

At the time of going to press, passengers aboard the boat intercepted on Sunday afternoon were being transferred to Christmas Island for processing.



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