Calls for reform of sea rescue co-ordination as talks with Indonesia begin

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High level meetings between Australian government ministers and their Indonesian counterparts got underway in Jakarta today. Many refugee advocates are hoping that the meetings produce a deal that allows Australia to take the lead in co-ordinating and carrying out rescue operations for asylum seeker boats in distress. Yet another boat sank last week leaving around 100 people missing, after Australia passed responsibility for the rescue effort to Indonesian authorities.Australia’s aircraft have a much larger range to search for vessels in distress, and the delegation of responsibility to Indonesian authorities is being blamed by some observers for the loss of life at sea.

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