The Parliamentary Library has released a paper setting out the number of asylum seeker arrivals by boat since 1976.
The paper, Boat arrivals in Australia: a quick guide to the statistics, is by Janet Phillips.
It shows that in financial year 1975-76, in the aftermath of the end of the Vietnam War, one boat carrying 5 people arrived in Australia, followed by around 2000 people over the next few years. There was only one boat in the 1980s. Numbers rose again in 1999 and peaked in calendar year 2001 with 43 boats carrying 5516 people.
Boat arrivals between 2001 and 2008 numbered only a few hundred before climbing again from 2009 and peaking in 2013 with 300 boats and 20,587 people.
The paper is posted here under the terms of its Creative Commons licence.