As the number of asylum seekers ballooned to more than 600 in August alone, a political solution on the matter remains elusive as the Coalition reiterated on Monday its opposition to the Malaysian component of the border protection stand off.
Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison told ABC today that his party would definitely shoot down efforts to force in the Malaysian solution, that is sending refugees to the Asian country as a deterrent to the influx of boat people to Australia, despite reports that Prime Minister Julia Gillard has opened the door for the Coalition ways of resolving the problem.
Report have suggested that the expert panel headed by former Australian Defence Force chief Angus Houston would recommended a compromise to the deadlock between the government and the Coalition - the implementation of the Nauru offshore processing and the 'deportation' of refugees to Malaysia.
But Mr Morrison has insisted the Coalition maintains its commitment to the Pacific Solution - sending the apprehended boat people to Nauru and giving them temporary visa protection, which Immigration Minister Chris Bowen has hinted Labor would accommodate.
Yet in exchange, the Liberals must be prepared to accept the imposition of the Malaysian solution in the event the Nauru processing proved ineffective.
Mr Morrison, however, stressed that so long a country like Malaysia remains non-committal to the United Nations refugee convention, its inclusion on Australia's immigration policies would be unacceptable.
"We won't support the abolition of binding legal protections in the Migration Act," the Liberal frontbencher was reported by the Australian Associated Press (AAP) as saying.
Malaysia, he added, was "a bad deal, it's an illegal deal, it's something the government should simply just get over."
And it appears too that the government will have to contend with the Australia Greens, which has insisted that offshore processing is an inhumane act that it cannot be a party to.
In an interview with ABC Monday morning, Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young stressed that "Australia can't have vulnerable refugees who have asked for our help, arrive on our doorstep, only for us to dump them in a country that is going to treat them worst."
But another senior Labor figure, Trade Minister Craig Emerson, said today that having an open mind should bring about the appropriate answers to the raging immigration debate.
As far as the government is concerned, Dr Emerson added, "we are absolutely committed to doing everything we possibly can, to stem the flow of boat arrivals."
He simply referred to the Houston Panel recommendations, which will be issued Monday noon, when asked if Canberra is ready to dump the Malaysian solution, which has been rejected by the Australian High Court an was equally unpopular with members of the parliament.
For his part, Foreign Minister Bob Carr called on "both the Coalition and the Greens party to take seriously what this high-level, very astute, very well-informed, non-partisan panel is recommending today to the government."
At the same time, Senator Carr has expressed optimism that Opposition Leader Tony Abbott would carefully weigh-in on the ideas that will be presented by the expert panel, which Ms Gillard has created when the Parliament failed to reach a compromise on the matter prior to its winter break.
"If Tony Abbott were simply to dismiss what they (the panel) put forward it would confirm a terrible negativity and indeed mischief-making about the stand the opposition is taking," the foreign minister was reported by AAP as saying.
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