Eight people have drowned and 15 are still missing after an asylum seeker boat carrying around 70 people sank off the coast of Indonesia.

The Federal Government is now urging the coalition to reconsider its Malaysia people-swap solution.

Candice Anderson reports.


Indonesian authorities have resumed their search today for 15 missing asylum seekers feared drowned after a boat capsized yesterday off the coast of Java.

Fifty-seven people have been rescued, most of them from Iran and Afghanistan.

The government says the Opposition’s to blame for blocking the Malaysian solution.

Chris Bowen, Immigration Minister: “Both political parties agree that done properly it can provide a deterrent to getting on a boat to Australia and can avoid tragic deaths at sea.”

But the Opposition says the tragic event should not be used for political purposes.

Scott Morrison, Shadow Immigration Minister: “Our proposal is before the government, they’re aware of our position and the amendments we seek, that’s where that matter rests.”

The Greens say it’s time for a new approach altogether.

Sarah Hanson-Young, Greens Senator: “The government really needs to think strongly about increasing our humanitarian intake and direct resettlement from places like Indonesia and Malaysia.”

Another boat, carrying 92 asylum seekers was intercepted off the Australian coast yesterday, the sixth to arrive since the Federal Government’s asylum seeker swap deal with Malaysia was abandoned.

Candice Anderson, QUT News.