Refugee workers in Australia are blaming government policies for the latest boat people tragedy.
It’s believed up to 50 asylum-seekers died after their wooden fishing boat smashed against jagged rocks on Christmas Island, off the north-west coast of Australia.
Refugee Action Coalition spokesman, Ian Rintoul, says it is a tragic incident. He believes the Australian government’s policies pushed the boat people to take risks to get to Australia.
However, acting Prime Minister Wayne Swann says it’s too early to play the blame game.
“We’ve just had a tragic incident. Now is not the time for that debate.”
Two of the survivors have been flown to hospital in Perth. The women have critical injuries.