Another SIEV-X slip?

By political correspondent Christian Kerr
Extracted from Crikey newsletter
15 June 2005

The government has either shifted ground on where the refugee boat SIEV-X sank - or Amanda Vanstone has stuffed up yet again. Have a look at her answer to a Question on Notice from Greens' leader Bob Brown on page 113 of yesterday's Senate Hansard:

Siev X
(Question No. 431)

Senator Brown asked the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, upon notice, on 10 March 2005:

With reference to the sinking of the boat known as SIEV X:

(1) Will the Minister now release the list of names of people who are thought to have drowned.

(2) How many queries has the Government had from people seeking the names of persons thought to have been on board: (a) from within Australia and (b) from outside Australia.

(3) If the list is not to be released:
(a) what are the precise reasons; and
(b) if one reason is that release of the list would endanger an informant, in what way.

Senator Vanstone - The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) The Government has no way of knowing or verifying all those who drowned, being an illegal venture out of another country with the tragedy occurring in international waters. Some names of those who have thought to have drowned are held.

(2) Records of requests are not held.

(3) The Government does not hold comprehensive information nor is it in a position to verify it.

Here we go again. 'International waters.'

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