AS THE ninth vessel with asylum seekers heading for Australia was intercepted, Prime Minister Julia Gillard says she expected an increase in illegal boat arrivals after last week's decision to re-open offshore processing at Nauru.
She told Sky News on Sunday she was not surprised by the increase in boat arrivals in the past few days, but it did not change the reality that they could be headed offshore for immigration processing.
Since Ms Gillard gave a deadline on Monday afternoon that asylum seekers arriving illegally could be processed at Nauru or Manus Island, nine boats had arrived.
The last arrival was intercepted on Saturday morning, carrying 17 people and bringing the total number of arrivals since Monday to more than 450 people.
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