Prime Minister Julia Gillard listens during the asylum seeker debate in Parliament this week.VOTERS are overwhelmingly demanding a compromise over asylum-seeker policy – and the government is copping the most blame for the impasse.
The Age-Nielsen poll has found 88 per cent of voters support the major parties working together to find a compromise.
Fifty-eight per cent blame the government for the impasse, 42 per cent hold the Coalition responsible, 39 per cent the Greens and 18 per cent the independents.
The poll came as Prime Minister Julia Gillard prepared for talks with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono about further strengthening co-operation on people smuggling.
Dr Yudhoyono arrives in Darwin today and will have talks with Ms Gillard tomorrow.
Another asylum seeker boat, with 53 people, was intercepted by the navy yesterday, the sixth since Wednesday night.
The total for June was 1772 – a monthly record – including people rescued and confirmed dead from two capsized boats.
The poll showed that while 42 per cent of Labor voters thought the ALP responsible for the impasse, only 24 per cent of Coalition voters blamed their side of politics. Greens voters were forgiving of the party’s refusal to compromise: only 31 per cent of Green supporters blamed them.
Of all voters, 58 per cent blamed Labor, 42 per cent the Coalition, 39 per cent the Greens and 18 per cent the independents. People were able to nominate more than one party.
Labor voters were also the most anxious for a compromise – 92 per cent, compared with 88 per cent of the general population in the poll taken from Thursday to Saturday.
Ms Gillard told the ABC yesterday she had been prepared ”every step of the way” to work for a solution. ”I am still prepared to do so,” she said.
Asked what she would tell Dr Yudhoyono, Ms Gillard stressed the asylum seeker issue should not be seen as defining the relationship. ”We’ve got a strong and robust relationship between our two countries and it’s not fair … to see it through the prism of people smuggling,” she said.
She said the Indonesians had had ”some success for their efforts in the past few years. They’ve disrupted around 300 people-smuggling ventures, they’ve made arrests – so Indonesia has been actively working with Australia to try and combat this very evil trade.”
Ms Gillard said she would tell the President ”that the government is still working and working hard to get an outcome here”.
She attacked Tony Abbott for saying he would not change policy, regardless of the findings of the group set up under former Defence chief Angus Houston. ”Mr Abbott is basically saying … he won’t listen to eminent Australians,” she said.
Mr Abbott, who will meet the President, said he would not conduct ”megaphone diplomacy”, and his conversation would remain ”in the vault”.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.