A state Labor leader has backed federal opposition calls for the reintroduction of temporary protection visas (TPVs) to deter asylum seekers from making dangerous boat trips to Australia.
But West Australian Opposition Leader Mark McGowan, a former navy officer, also said coalition leader Tony Abbott's plan to turn back asylum seeker boats when it's safe was "plain silly".
"I've actually been on the high seas and boarded foreign fishing vessels," he told Sky News on Thursday.
"It is a ridiculous, preposterous proposal put forward by someone who hasn't done it.
"It won't work and it's dangerous for the personnel involved."
The ALP dismantled the key planks of the Howard government's border protection policies, including TPVs and offshore processing at Nauru and Manus Island, after gaining power in 2007.
"There needs to be a compromise on all of these things, temporary protection visas, whether it's Nauru or Malaysia or another location for offshore processing," Mr McGowan said.
"I don't want to see people drowning in the ocean anymore."Last month WA Labor senator Mark Bishop said federal Labor had made a mistake by abolishing the TPV program.
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