Review of asylum seeker boat incidents

AUSTRALIAN Customs and Border Protection is reviewing the circumstances surrounding the incidents involving boats carrying asylum seekers.

Up to 90 people are thought to have died when a boat carrying about 200 people capsized in Indonesian waters north of Christmas Island on June 21.

Less than a week later, on June 27, four people died when a boat sank not far from the June 21 incident.

The whole-of-government review will be supported by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and the Department of Defence.

Customs chief executive officer Michael Carmody said the review would focus on the policies and procedures followed by agencies in responding to the incidents.

"The review will determine whether appropriate polices and procedures were implemented during the events and identify if any changes are required to improve operational processes," Mr Carmody said.

Mr Carmody said the review was separate to other inquiries already announced into the incidents.

"The review is not intended as a substitute for the more detailed and thorough inquiry by the Western Australian Coroner and investigations by the Western Australian Police and the Australian Federal Police," he said.

Customs and Border Protection expects to complete the internal review and issue a report in August. 


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