25 Dec 2012

Tally of boat people arrival now 25,000

11:31 am on 25 December 2012

The Coalition says the number of asylum seekers who have arrived in Australian waters by boat is more 25,000 under the Gillard government.

Two more boats arrived in Australian waters over the weekend.

AAP reports HMAS Melville and HMAS Albany were called to help a vessel near Christmas Island on Sunday.

It is believed 87 passengers and three crew were on board. They will be transferred to Christmas Island for the usual security, health and identity checks.

AAP reports a separate vessel with 35 people on board sailed into Australian waters north-west of Cocos Island on Friday.

In a statement issued on Monday night, Coalition border protection spokesman Michael Keenan said this meant 25,000 people had now travelled to Australia on more than 400 boats under the Gillard government.

"(Prime Minister Julia Gillard) has categorically failed to stop the boats from coming," he said.

Mr Keenan said merchant vessels, Australian Navy ships and Customs vessels were being used as water taxis and he called for more funding and personnel for frontline border protection agencies.