The Australian government has confirmed that Indonesia has refused to accept a boat Australian authorities attempted to turn back just south of Java.
According to a statement from Operation Sovereign Borders, Indonesia is “reviewing the request put forward by Australia”.
The boat was rescued 43 nautical miles south of the coast of Java, within the Indonesian search and rescue zone. A request was made to transfer the passengers to Indonesia. The statement says: “On two recent occasions, Indonesia has agreed to these requests and facilitated an on water transfer.”
The vessel’s passengers have now been taken to Christmas Island and will eventually be taken to Nauru or Manus Island.
The Opposition says the government’s asylum policies are in disarray and it is in retreat from its “turn back the boats” policy. The government statement says the number of “illegal arrivals” is down 75% since Operation Sovereign Borders began.