Australian authorities on Wednesday intercepted two boats near Christmas Island carrying people seeking asylum, bringing the total number of people taken in this year to 5,547, Australia's ABC News reported Thursday.
The number of asylum seekers taken in during the current Labor government of Prime Minister Julia Gillard now exceeds the record set in 2001 by John Howard's Liberal-National Coalition government, ABC said.
"Two more boats overnight - that's 116 for the year, it's 30 since the election," Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said, according to ABC. "This is yet another Labor stuff-up, yet another Gillard mess."
Gillard defenders pointed to Howard's similar record.
Asylum seekers arrive in Australia from South Pacific islands, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Iraq, Iran, Turkey and other countries, according to the Department of Immigration and citizenship.
Abbott's immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison, also criticized the government's public release of training documents for immigration officials, calling them a "how-to" guide for passing Australia's asylum test.
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen issued a statement saying the notes were released to comply with Australia's Freedom of Information Act, according to ABC.