12 Aug 2012

Public fed up with asylum seeker stand-off - minister

1:42 pm on 12 August 2012

Australian Federal Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says the public is fed up with a political stand-off over asylum seeker policy.

A panel led by former Defence Force chief Angus Houston is due to issue its recommendations on a new asylum seeker policy on Monday.

Despite the report's release, the parliamentary deadlock on the issue seems set to continue, with Opposition Leader Tony Abbott still committed to offshore processing on Nauru.

The government has not agreed to accept the panel's recommendation either. But Mr Bowen said it will take the recommendations seriously.

''The Australian people have had a gut full of this,'' he told the ABC on Sunday.

'''We can argue about the benefits of Malaysia, we can argue about the drawbacks of Nauru, but the time for that has passed.

''I think the Australian people are looking to the Parliament this week to implement offshore processing, if it's recommended by the expert panel.''

More boats

Meanwhile, the ABC reports two more asylum seeker boats have been intercepted.

HMAS Broome intercepted a boat carrying 87 people north-west of the Ashmore Islands on Saturday night.

The second boat had 31 people on board and was intercepted west of Cocos Island late in the day.

The Coalition blames Labor's border protection policy for the influx in boat arrivals.

It has also raised questions over the validity of distress calls increasingly issued by some boats, saying the Navy is being used as an escort service.