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Monday, 1 September 2014
Page: 9155

Asylum Seekers


Mrs ANDREWS (McPherson) (14:33): My question is to the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection. Will the minister brief the House on the latest monthly update on Operation Sovereign Borders?


Mr MORRISON (CookMinister for Immigration and Border Protection) (14:34): I thank the member for McPherson for her question and her ongoing interest. I can say that the latest monthly update released today points to the continued success of Operation Sovereign Borders. I commend all of those men and women who serve as part of that operation in a civilian and non-civilian capacity, led by Lieutenant General Campbell. I can also say that, in addition to that, it is not just what is being achieved through Operation Sovereign Borders but how it is being achieved by all of these agencies working together under a unified command to get the job done, with a very simple and clear mission and that is to stop the boats.

I can tell you that for all of August there was no successful venture—not a single successful venture—and that makes seven out of eight months this year where there has not been a single successful venture. But there was one successful venture where people were transferred to Nauru in the last month. I can count them: there was one. In comparison, if I have to count up those that occurred under the now opposition, when they were the government watch, they would all have to take their shoes and socks off because, to count them up: 268 in eight months of last year. Just in the month of August, there were 25 ventures, and under this government there have been no such ventures this August.

I can also say that there are now fewer than 10,000 people in Indonesia as a result of the draining of those who are coming to Indonesia, as a result of the successful policies of this government. In addition to that, I would say that there are now 300 transferees who have gone to offshore processing and have had their claims assessed. I can tell you how many had their claims assessed for offshore processing when those opposite were running it, and the answer is a big fat zero—absolutely none. One hundred and seventy-nine people have been resettled—some of them have jobs; some of them are attempting to start businesses. Four hundred and five people have decided to leave. That is five times the rate of departure from offshore processing that was occurring under the previous government.

The policies being implemented by this government on our borders are working, and they are working in a way that those opposite never could have pretended or dreamed would work, and the record bears it out. But there is more work to be done, because we can never, ever rest on this issue. The Australian people trust us not to rest. They know that those who sit on this side of the House will be forever vigilant when it comes to this issue. We will never relax on these issues. We will never compromise the policies which are working to stop the deaths at sea and to stop the rot that occurred under the previous government. They trust us to get this job done and, deep down, those on the other side know they trust us to get this job done.