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Operation Sovereign Borders: Morrison Says People Smugglers On The Back Foot

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison, says people smugglers are on the back foot, as another week passes without a boat arrival.

At a press briefing on Operation Sovereign Borders, Morrison also revealed the name of the man who died in the disturbance on Manus Island earlier this week. The Iranian man, 23-year-old Reza Barati, had been on Manus Island since last July.


  • Listen to Morrison (29m)

Statement from the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison.

Longest period without successful people smuggling venture since Labor abolished Howard policies

The latest weekly update for Operation Sovereign Borders reveals there has not been a successful people smuggling venture to Australia for 64 days, the longest period without a successful venture since before August 2008 when Labor started the boats, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon. Scott Morrison said today.

Operation Sovereign Borders is making progress. The boats have not yet stopped but they are stopping under the Abbott Government with people smugglers on the back foot and arrivals down to levels not experienced since the days of the Howard Government.

The last people smuggling venture that made it to Australia and had all passengers handed over to Australian immigration authorities was on December 19 last year, over nine weeks ago.

1847 people arrived on 32 illegal boats over the same 64 day period in 2012/13.

The full suite of measures the Coalition is implementing, including operations at sea, are combining to prevent people smugglers from sending people on the dangerous boat journey to Australia. These are policies the previous government never had the resolve, will or interest in implementing.

Preventing people who arrived in Australia illegally by boat from being resettled in Australia is one thing but preventing successful people smuggling ventures to Australia entirely is another. The Coalition’s physical deterrence policies, particularly those at sea, are the primary reason why the government is achieving the outcomes it is.

Reports from the Malaysian government on potential illegal arrivals departing Indonesia for Malaysia and falling registrations of asylum seekers in Indonesia show the message is getting through the region that the way to Australia is shut for illegal boat arrivals under the Coalition government.

The government’s strong resolve on our borders remains. The Coalition government will not take a backward step in the fight against people smugglers.

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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