The latest unfolding humanitarian disaster in the Indian Ocean underscores the urgent need for a bi-partisan solution to stopping the dangerous people smuggling trade, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.

ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said tonight that both sides had played politics over the asylum seeker issue and lives were being lost as a result.

“It is now time for a bi-partisan solution, even if it is an interim solution,” Mr Wallace said.

“ACL has long advocated that Australia raise its humanitarian intake and that a clear message should be sent that UNHCR-designated refugees would be preferred over those paying for passage on a people smuggler’s boat. We must break the criminals’ business model.

“Too many people have died between Indonesia and Christmas Island for the political impasse over asylum seeker policy to be allowed to continue any longer.

“There is a moral imperative for both parties to work together in order to prevent further loss of life,” Mr Wallace said.