A boat carrying 66 asylum seekers from Sri Lanka has arrived at the busy Western Australian port of Geraldton, completely undetected until its arrival.
The boat arrived at the port, one of Australia’s busiest, around noon on Tuesday reportedly flying a New Zealand flag and a makeshift sign being held up by the asylum seekers stating “We want to go to New Zealand. Please help us”.
The 66 asylum seekers, which include pregnant women and children, are to be transferred to Christmas Island, reported Australian authorities.
However, David Manne from the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre, stated that since the refugees reached mainland Australia, they are entitled to legal representation and may be able to avoid the country’s controversial off-shore processing program.
"If they apply for refugee protection in Australia, under Australian due legal process, they're entitled to have their claims assessed here and to not be sent elsewhere".
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