Cracks in se­cu­rity

Herald Sun - - NEWS - ROB HAR­RIS

A CLEAR gap in Aus­tralia’s bor­der se­cu­rity sur­veil­lance was ex­posed by the ar­rival of a boat car­ry­ing 15 asy­lum seek­ers in Au­gust, the de­fence force has con­ceded.

Chief of Joint Op­er­a­tions Com­man­der, Air Mar­shal Mel Hupfeld, said the Viet­namese boat’s ar­rival in croc­o­dile-in­fested wa­ters of far north Queens­land had spurred an in­creased pres­ence in bor­der pa­trol ves­sels in re­cent weeks.

Air Mar­shall Hupfeld said it was an “im­mense” task to pa­trol Aus­tralia’s coast­line.

Author­i­ties were swift to de­port sus­pected asy­lum seek­ers who fled from their sink­ing boat. “There was a gap in the sur­veil­lance el­e­ment,” he said yes­ter­day.

“Our ca­pa­bil­i­ties are in­creas­ing, they’re more ex­pe­di­tionary, we can get out and re­spond more rapidly than we used to.”

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