22 April 2009

Help phone line set up to contact people illegally emigrating to Australia

A boat of people emigrating to Australia illegally exploded in Australian waters this month, leaving five people dead and dozens injured.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has set up an information phone line for those who knew someone emigrating to Australia on the boat to seek asylum, so that they may enquire about their health and situation.

"Our primary focus is the health and well-being of the individuals involved in the boat explosion and we would urge anyone concerned that their loved ones may have been on board, to contact the information line," a DIAC spokesman said.

"All calls will be treated confidentially and information provided may help identify those who are injured and recovering in hospital."

Interpreters will be available to field calls from non-English speakers, and the service will be open between 9am and 5pm on 1300 735 683 (or +61 2 62641001 for international callers).

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.

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