Opposition Immigration spokesman Scott Morrison has confirmed a Coalition government would impose behaviour protocols for asylum seekers on bridging visas.

Mr Morrison flagged the controversial idea earlier this year after a Sri Lankan asylum seeker was charged with the indecent assault of a Macquarie University student in Sydney.

More than 50 asylum seekers on bridging visas were being housed on the university campus, sparking the Opposition's calls for stricter rules.

Under the Coalition's plan, asylum seekers would be subject to strict protocols and police and residents would be notified when they moved into their communities.

Senior Coalition MPs have not publicly endorsed the plan, but when asked to clarify its status - and whether it had been discussed in shadow cabinet - Mr Morrison told the ABC: "It's our policy."

The Government, the Greens and refugee advocates have slammed the policy as extreme and unacceptable.

Refugee advocates say it would treat asylum seekers in a similar way to convicted paedophiles and could run the risk of creating a vigilante mentality among some members of the public.

The policy has also faced internal criticism from Liberal backbencher Russell Broadbent, who earlier this month accused his own party of "vilifying" those who have sought Australia's protection.

Boat arrivals

The Government introduced bridging visas in response to a surge in boat arrivals.

Five boats, together carrying more than 380 asylum seekers, have arrived since the weekend.

According to the Immigration Department, around 2,000 asylum seekers are currently being detained on Christmas Island.

The centre is able to hold just over 2,000 people, including its contingency capacity.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has blamed the Opposition for the Government's inability to act on all of the recommendations from the expert panel on asylum seekers.

"I would in a heart beat enact every recommendation in the Houston Review," she told reporters at a press conference today.

"We have been stopped from doing that by the negativity of the Opposition, because they think more boats on the horizon is good for their politics."

Former Defence Force chief Angus Houston, who led the expert panel on asylum seekers, has reiterated the need for a range of policies to stop boat arrivals.

He says that includes a plan to send asylum seekers who arrive by boat to Malaysia.

"The whole package - all 22 recommendations - needed to be implemented as a package," he said.

"And again, I still stand by that because I think each recommendation complements the other and that's still the case."

Australian authorities today went to the aid of an asylum seeker boat carrying 83 people off Christmas Island.

Yesterday, two asylum seekers drowned after their boat capsized just north of Christmas Island with 95 people on board, while a boat carrying 105 asylum seekers was picked up by HMAS Bundaberg after its engine failed.

On Sunday Customs officers stopped another boat with 128 people on board north of Christmas Island.

Another boat carrying four passengers and two crew was also intercepted south-east of the Ashmore Islands on Sunday.

A total of 54 boats have been intercepted in Australian waters so far this year.

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