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Turnbull Announces Refugee Resettlement Deal With United States

The Turnbull government has announced a deal that will see the remaining refugees held in offshore processing centres offered resettlement in the United States.


Speaking at a press conference this morning with Immigration and Border Protection minister Peter Dutton, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the deal is a “one-off agreement” that will only be available to people currently in the off-shore centres. [Read more…]

Melissa Parke: Speech On Asylum Seekers

The retiring ALP member for Fremantle, has addressed the House of Representatives on the treatment of asylum seekers.

Parke, 49, who has held Fremantle since 2007, spoke in the Grievance Debate in the Federation Chamber.

  • Listen to Parke’s speech (10m)

Speech by Melissa Parke, member for Fremantle, to the House of Representatives.


Ms PARKE (Fremantle) (17:46): I was preselected to run for Labor in the federal seat of Fremantle while I was still working for the United Nations overseas. One of the main motivations for coming back to Australia to stand for parliament was to help to improve asylum seekers policy that had for so long been misused by the government of Prime Minister John Howard for cynical political purposes.

On my first day back to Australia on 20 June 2007, I gave a speech in the Fremantle Town Hall to mark World Refugee Day. I had worked a lot with refugees during my time with the UN, especially in Kosovo and Gaza. I had seen Kosovars streaming back from neighbouring countries to their burnt-out homes in Kosovo to live in tents in the middle of the harshest winter on record. I worked with Palestinian refugees in the Middle East who had been forced from their homes in 1948 and 1967 and who were living in appallingly dire conditions for decades in the hope that they would one day return to their homes. [Read more…]

Morrison Announces Tamil Asylum Seekers Will Be Brought To Mainland For Processing

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison, has announced that the government will bring 157 Tamil asylum seekers to the Australian mainland for processing.


The Tamils have been on an Australian customs vessel in the Indian Ocean since last month. The High Court ruled that they could not be handed over to Sri Lankan officials. [Read more…]

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. [Read more…]

Morrison: One Dead, Thirteen Seriously Injured In Manus Island Disturbance

5.45pm Update: Morrison Holds Second Press Conference On Manus Island Incident

After a day of confused reports from Papua New Guinea, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison, held a second press conference on the overnight incident at Manus Island which resulted in the death of one person.

  • Listen to Morrison (30m)

11.00am – Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed that one person is dead after a “serious incident” at Manus Island overnight.

Morrison said “perimeter breaches” occurred at the asylum seeker processing centre over a four hour period. “That incident involved persons at around just after 11 after some demonstrations, noise and various things being able to break through the fence.” [Read more…]

ABC Says Its Reports Of Asylum Seekers’ Claims Should Have Been “More Precise”

The ABC has conceded that its reports of claims by asylum seekers of mistreatment by Navy personnel should have been “more precise”.

After several weeks of media coverage of its reporting of the claims and an adverse finding by its own Media Watch program, the ABC’s Managing Director, Mark Scott, and the Director of News, Kate Torney, issued a statement in which they say that there was no attempt to “pre-judge” the claims.

They said: “The ABC has not attempted to play judge and jury on this matter. We have reported the asylum seeker claims, broadcast the video showing burns and consistently sought more detail from witnesses and officials.”

Media statement from the ABC.

ABC Statement

The ABC, along with other national media, has been covering an important story about recent asylum seeker boats being turned around and investigating what occurred on board those boats. There have been allegations from asylum seekers that Navy personnel mistreated and caused injury to some of them – allegations that have been strongly denied. [Read more…]

Morrison: No Boats For 36 Days

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison, has applauded the latest report from Operation Sovereign Borders confirming there have been no boat arrivals for 36 days.

Morrison said “illegal arrivals” have declined by 80% in the first 100 days of Operation Sovereign Borders but “this is not the time for stepping back, but to maintain the full pressure of our operations on criminal people smugglers”.

Today’s weekly report was posted online. Morrison has abandoned his weekly press conferences.

The ABC’s fact-checking unit says the government is wrong to refer to asylum seekers as “illegal”.

  • Watch the ABC report (2m)

Today’s update from Operation Sovereign Borders.


Media release from Scott Morrison, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection.

Operation Sovereign Borders Report Confirms 36 Days Without A Boat

The Government welcomes today’s Operation Sovereign Borders weekly update confirming that there have been no persons illegally arriving by boat transferred to our immigration authorities for 36 days.

This is the longest period of no illegal boat arrivals since March of 2009, when arrivals first started to significantly escalate as a consequence of the former Labor Government’s decision to abolish the strong border protection regime they inherited from the Howard Government. [Read more…]

Boat Arrivals In Australia: Statistics Since 1976

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. [Read more…]

Asylum Seeker Allegations: I Trust The Navy, Abbott Says

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has dismissed allegations that Australian Navy personnel burnt the hands of asylum seekers.


Speaking in Davos, Switzerland, at the World Economic Forum, Abbott said there was no evidence for the allegations. He said: “These are just claims without any apparent facts to back them up. I fully support the statement of the Minister on this subject and I have complete confidence in the decency, the humanity and the professionalism of Australia’s Navy and customs personnel.” [Read more…]

No Boat Arrivals For Three Weeks Says Morrison

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison, says there have been no boat arrivals for more than three weeks.

Morrison has abandoned his weekly media briefing in favour of releasing written statements. In today’s statement, he says: “It has been more than three weeks since the last group of illegal maritime arrivals were transferred to immigration authorities by Border Protection Command.”

Morrison acknowledged that January is usually a quieter period but claimed “the strong policies being implemented by the government mean that people smugglers are being denied the ability to ply their trade with any success”. He said boat arrivals numbered 419, 278 and 271 in the same period over the past three years.

A separate statement from the Customs and Border Protection Service says there are now 1259 people on Manus Island, 867 in Nauru and 2107 on Christmas Island.

Neither statement makes any mention of the towbacks reported by Indonesian and Australian media this week.

Media release from Scott Morrison, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection.

No illegal boat arrivals for more than three weeks

Once again, there have been no persons transferred to Australian immigration authorities during the past reporting week under Operation Sovereign Borders, who arrived in Australia illegally by boat.

It has been more than three weeks since the last group of illegal maritime arrivals were transferred to immigration authorities by Border Protection Command. [Read more…]