THE Coalition has again called for the government to reintroduce Howard-era temporary protection visas for asylum seekers arriving by boat and turning boats around when it is safe to do so.
The remarks came as two boats arrived over the weekend carrying 235 people, bringing the total to 46 boats with 2822 passengers in the six weeks since Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the government would resume offshore processing on Nauru and Manus Island.
A spokesman for opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said that compared with the 2822 asylum seekers arriving in the past six weeks, just 841 people had arrived in the 11 weeks after former prime minister John Howard introduced offshore processing in September 2001.
Boat arrivals then stopped until 2003 and resumed at a trickle until 2006.
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said on Saturday that there was ''still some way to go'' before boats stopped altogether. ''I am sure that people smugglers will continue to test the will and resolve of the government,'' he said.