A LEADER of Rockhampton's refugee community says Australia's new offshore processing rules for asylum seekers won't stop the boats.
As the city's Hazara community celebrated the end of the Islam fasting month of Ramadan yesterday, another boat of asylum seekers sailed into Australian waters.
Nine boats carrying 487 asylum seekers have arrived since Australia passed tough new migration laws last Monday.
The rules mean asylum seekers are now subject to offshore processing on Nauru and Papua New Guinea's Manus Island.
Mohammad Raza Azad arrived by boat to Australia two-and-a-half years ago after fleeing violence and terrorism in Afghanistan.
"Every day the terrorists they attack on us and they try to kill us." Mr Azad said.
"Myself, I was working with the government, with the allied coalition forces, to fight against the terrorists, so my life was really in danger. Not just mine, but my family members as well.
"I hear some news that some people lost their lives on their way to Christmas Island.
"But we are killed down there (in Afghanistan) or we are killed on the way here. So it is the same."
As they cheered their success at cooking up a sausage sizzle yesterday, there was a noticeable absence of women.
Mr Azad, a settlement support worker, said most refugees could only afford to send one person by boat.
Under the new migration laws, all refugees who arrive by sea - other than children - will lose the right to apply for family reunion.
"I came here two-and-a-half years ago and tried to sponsor my family.
"But the problem is the large number of applications, so I am still waiting, and waiting, every day with no news," Mr Azad said.