13 Jul 2015

Australia criticised on method of handling boat arrivals

2:01 pm on 13 July 2015

The immigration spokesperson for the Australian Greens says the way Europe and Australia are dealing with asylum seekers is completely different, despite facing similar challenges.

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has been in southern Italy to compare the European response to an influx of asylum seekers to that of Australia's.

Thousands of people have tried to make the dangerous voyage across the Mediterranean Sea from Africa and the Middle East in an attempt to seek asylum in Europe.

Ms Hanson-Young says despite the practical and political challenges being similar to Australia, the response between the two is very "chalk and cheese."

"Even just overnight another 300 people were saved from a sinking boat, they were saved by an NGO organisation who are out here to try and save lives and help people when their boat gets in trouble. We just don't have anything like that in Australia. The secrecy, the lack of transparency of how Australia runs its border protection means there is no way you could have a collaborative approach."

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