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A Nauru Airlines plane, believed to carrying Chinese asylum-seekers, at Queensland’s RAAF Base Amberley yesterday (ABC News)

People who arrive by boat seeking a better life or even asylum “won’t be settled in Australia”, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said yesterday as he doubled down on his Government’s commitment to the Coalition’s Operation Sovereign Borders. Source: The Australian. 

The latest illegal maritime arrivals to reach Western Australia’s far north Kimberley coastline were the third known group since November and the first Chinese to reach Australia by boat since 2012. All but one of the group was put on a charter jet to Nauru yesterday.

Speaking to reporters at a Sikh community event in Melbourne, the Prime Minister was adamant that the border control principles established by the Abbott Government remained in place. “We will deal with any unauthorised arrivals consistent with Operation Sovereign Borders, and that’s what we’ve done,” Mr Albanese said.

“There has been no change in policy since 2013. We’ll use all avenues at our disposal to make sure that the borders are protected and make sure we respond in accordance with the principles of Operation Sovereign Borders. And that’s what we have, again, done on this occasion.”

Mr Albanese made the statements as the Coalition’s home affairs spokesman, James Paterson, lashed the Government for “demonstrable failures on their watch”. 

“We warned them before they abolished temporary protection visas that that would give people an incentive to get on the boats again to try and come again. And lo and behold, that’s exactly what’s happened,” Mr Patterson said.

Australian Border Force has sent extra resources to Australia’s northwest as part of its response to what is believed to be a new business model in the people-smuggling trade. The Australian has been told the ABF is aware smugglers have recently switched to valuable boats that can travel up to 20 knots.


Anthony Albanese vows no turnback on Operation Sovereign Borders as third boat arrives (By Paige Taylor and Rachel Baxendale, The Australian)