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Guarantee Needed That Customs Won’t Cry Wolf Again

Customs Minister Must Guarantee Customs Won’t Cry Wolf Again

Friday 16th Jun 2000
Penny Webster
Media Release -- Other

Customs had put on a ‘frightening show of incompetence’ in Northland alerting health authorities that a boatload of illegal immigrants was trying to land on a far North Beach on Tuesday night, according to ACT Customs Spokesman Penny Webster.

Mrs Webster said it was beyond belief that Customs had raised the alarm without telling any health officials that they were, in fact, carrying out a tactical response drill.

The Customs Minister Phillida Bunkle was clearly completely unaware of what was going on. Her apology for the incident three days after the event shows she has been kept in the dark over the debacle.

“Because of the vast coastline in Northland, the scenario is a very real one. Northland health authorities were absolutely right to treat the matter extremely seriously and make the preparations they did,” said Penny Webster.

“The Minister must give an assurance that patients will not be put at risk again because of her department crying wolf,” she said. ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

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