Rudd says no illegal boat arrivals will resettle in Australia

Prime Minister Rudd announces no asylum seekers arriving by boat will resettle in Australia under new deal with PNG.

 
 

asylum-seekers

KEVIN Rudd has today announced that any asylum seeker that arrives in Australia illegally via boat would have no chance of being resettled in Australia after a deal was reached with the Papua New Guinean government this week.

The Australian Prime Minister announced the significant changes to the government’s immigration policy in a joint press conference with Papua New Guinean Prime Minister Peter O’Neill in Brisbane. Mr Rudd said that the arrangement was a “very hard-line decision”, however he felt it was necessary to combat people smuggling in the region.

The newly-written Regional Settlement Agreement will ensure that any individual discovered attempting to enter Australia illegally would be taken to Papua New Guinea for processing. If their claims of refugee status are found to be genuine, they will then be given the opportunity to settle in Papua New Guinea rather than Australia.

Mr Rudd said: “Australians have had enough of seeing people drowning in the waters to our north. Our country has had enough of people smugglers exploiting asylum seekers and seeing them to drown on the high seas.”

Mr Rudd said that the agreement was not intended as a permanent policy shift, and would be subject to annual review in order to determine whether the program is working effectively. The agreement does not stipulate how many asylum seekers could feasibly be processed and resettled in Papua New Guinea.

Mr Rudd said: “Our expectation … is as this regional resettlement arrangement is implemented, and the message is sent loud and clear back up the pipeline, the number of boats will decline over time as asylum seekers then make recourse to other, more normal UNHCR processes to have their claims assessed.”

Last August former Prime Minister Julia Gillard revisited the Howard government policy of off-shore processing in centres based on Nauru and Manus Island. Despite the Manus Island facility coming under criticism by the United Nations, Mr Rudd asserted that Papua New Guinea would continue to use the processing centre to assess claims of asylum.

Mr Rudd said: “What we’re seeking to do … is to send a message to people smugglers around the world that the business model is basically undermined. This is a clear change in strategic direction.”

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott welcomed Mr Rudd’s announcement, however claimed that the plan would not work under a Labor government’s administration. He expressed concerns regarding the Rudd government’s record on immigration policy, and asked voters to decide which party they trusted more to resolve the issue of illegal immigration.

Mr Abbott said: “Who do you trust on this subject? Who do you trust to stop the boats? Do you trust the political party that started it up again? Do you trust the political party that closed down Manus Island? Or do you trust the party that is the original and the best when it comes to stopping the boats.”

Greens leader Christine Milne, on the other hand, condemned Mr Rudd’s plan as “absolutely immoral” and described the policy shift as a “lurch to the right” for the Australian Labor Party. She said that transferring asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea was an example of an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality and said that the processing centre on Manus Island would be “Australia’s gulag in PNG.”

 
 
 

Topics

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

About the author

Paul Bleakley is a journalist and academic raised on Queensland's Gold Coast. After graduating with a Bachelor of Journalism, he went on to teach high school English and History in his hometown. Paul's work on democratic revolutions will be featured in the upcoming book 'The Cultivation of Peace'. He loves reality TV, wandering aimlessly and wearing flip flops on cold London days.

Click here to view more posts by

Related Posts

Latest Stories

  • 26% of Australians were born overseas
  • Australian press gagged by government, says WikiLeaks
  • More UK doctors are heading for Australia
  • AFL London Grand Finals, here we come
  • Your one-stop forex jargon buster

  •  
     

    17 Comments

    1. Winston George says:

      Kevin you are the man for Australia today. You have taken the whole country by surprise with your boat policy. We are a generous & kind country; but like everyone else we have our limitations. We need to be kind to our own before we can give others. It beggars belief when the greens say that we are a rich country. Do they have a policy for the homeless?

    2. Graham says:

      Hooray for Kevin, Hooray at last…..the right action to deter smugglers and save lives. Those who oppose like the dismal Greens and goodie goodie others who think we can just let them all keep coming at increasing numbers are quite mad. Just imagine having Christine and Sarah running our country…..we’d be all boating out of here.

    3. Bowbells says:

      Thankyou Mr Rudd
      A step in the right direction at long last. When a trickle becomes a never ending flood then positive action is required. It has become a money making racket that has cost many lives. Just how can anyone condone that!! There have been many examples of opportunists economic so-called refugees settled and in the pipe line heading for Australia. Why? its the generous taxpayers handouts running into millions! Some even wish to change our laws! Then, lets consider those refugees holed up in camps overseas year in and year out! waiting for the nod to be settled in Australia. Then one must address the background checks carried out by the security agencies. There are many so-called refugees around the world that have committed war crimes/terrorists etc. that have slipped under the radar. We even have some now doing time in Australia. Yes, there are genuine refugees seeking asylum without doubt. The Greens are devoid of reality or locked into tunnel vision. they are with the fairies on currant world affairs. Just for one moment look at what is unfolding in Europe and England for example. Riots murders whole towns become no go areas. Vote Greens if you would like that. As for phony Tony the flip flop negativity man who is forever changing his mind! or walking away when asked questions on this or that. Just stares into space head nodding. very strange indeed, wouldn’t you say.

    4. Ron kincade says:

      Why doesn’t Sarah Hanson young, and Christene Milln, put their money wher their mouth is by both of them becoming foster parents for some of those refugees children that are held in detention ? If both of them they lead by example we might listen to them.

    5. Ron kincade says:

      Kevin Rudd says many things, espesial now wene an ellection is about to take place. Kevin Rudd lost controll of the Australian borders long ago, and now just a few weeks before the ellection is due he is telling us that he is now in controll of the Australian borders. What a boat load of rubbish. Kevin Rudd’s imaginary brain storm idea has no credebility it’s just an ellection stunt. Kevin 007 is just making a promise in vain so he can win the ellection,” even blind freddy won’t be fooled by other than that.” This is just an ellection stunt, a promiss by Kevin 007.Nothing has been worked out or implemented. And just like all other lpast labor promisses promisses they always turn to dust.
      There is already an uproar by the people of New Guinea ,because they are very worried that these refugees will take over their way of life and religion…. The problem with Kevin Rudd he makes big announcments and work out the plan, the details, and implamintatios later , and the result as always will end up with another labor disaster.
      Tony Albanese made a good point about the labor government yesterday ,when he said that if Malcolm Turnbull replaced Tony Abbott ,the coalution will win the ellection easy. This just goes to show how much faith Anothony Albanses really have in Kevin Rudd. It’ all about persponalities, not team work.

    6. justhetruth says:

      I will never understand why it took the government so long to implement something like this.
      Let genuine immigrants have the chance they well deserve.
      What about the “religion” aspect of this “invasion”.
      Don’t be fool, look at Europe and England, it is real, it is happening.
      When Good Men do Nothing and say nothing, then the next generation will pay the price, and what a price our kids are going to pay.
      We want to carry on living in peace and we want the same for next and ever Australian generations.

      Christine Milne, “absolutely immoral”,
      more immoral is what is going on in our parliament and senate, in the government itself, (we have seen this government “tinted” with corruption up to the neck), in our society, in the churches,
      in the legal system,…. a rotten smell comes from everywhere.
      That is a absolute immoral as far as I am concern.
      Australia deserve the right to select who comes into the country.
      Well done this time PM, make sure that this will work.

    7. Fraser says:

      Good call by Kev. Has he learnt good implementation?

    8. donkey says:

      Funny how it takes an upcoming election for the government to finally do something.

    9. Talisman says:

      When were Australians ever given the chouice as to who can settler here. These illegals are using the “green coalition” to queue jump requirements and access a country flowing with milk and dole money that they did nothing to earn; all to keep corrupt Indonesinas floating in Australian taxpayers money. Good riddance.

    10. Hans says:

      K. Rudd: Game,set and match
      T Abbott: (Ur,ur,Um what happened). Nil

    11. Ingrid says:

      This is excellent and at last we have someone strong enough and courageous enough to take a firm hand at this huge prob. The numbers of these illegal arrivals has ballooned immensely and if something is not done we will have hundreds of thousands arriving this way with 3 to 5 years, and that will change the nature of our country greatly. Refugees coming through the UN should be given priority and at the moment they are being completely overshadowed by these suspect arrivals, many are not fleeing harm at all. Even if they were once they arrive in a safe country, ANY safe country, then they are no longer refugees as they are not in danger. We have been taken for the biggest fools and idiots, just a lot of suckers. If I have to see one of those lawyers carrying on so he can still make income from this I will put my foot through the TV. As for the greens, they are misreading their voters, there are a lot of people who voted greens who want this situation fixed in the tough way, not the bleeding heart, we are suckers way. They will lose votes over it, the clowns.

    12. robert says:

      Kevin Rudd has never solved anything, he is a walking,talking spinner of hot air and no substance. He believes that articulate speeches will baffle voters. The 747 has now become a Dreamliner, can’t wait for it to be grounded at election time for the lies and deceit and personal ego of vain, spiteful and untrustworthy Ptime Minister..

    13. Albert says:

      The boat arrivals will be sent to Manus, so will the airport arrivals increase?
      PNG has 13 times the murder rate that we have and foreigners will be cashed up by Centrelink, that will make them easy targets for PNG rascals (criminal gangs).

    14. Snam says:

      Well lets just hope that none of them are militant Islamists who settle in PNG. PNG is so dysfunctional it would be easy once a critical mass had been achieved to take over the government and then if they were strict Islam or Shites who hated the Indonesian Sunnis we would have more problems on our doorstep.

    15. BBSmith says:

      Christine Milne has a narrow minded view of what is immoral, but then what does anyone expect from the Greens but pie in the sky bullshit, she should heed the old saying “If you have nothing sensible to say then shut the mouth and open the ears”, and Tony Abbott’s comments are nothing more than the Liberal’s usual sheer negative humbug attitude. It has taken Kevin Rudd and the Labor party to finally offer a sensible solution to illegal entry of Australia by boat people. Refugee’s who apply for refugee status before arriving in Australia will find that they will have a better chance to eventually get to re-settle in Australia. In this day and age that is fair, and should go a long way to neutralising the power of people smugglers and actually stop the tide of boats. Plus Indonesia will change visa requirements at their boarders to deter would be economic immigrants from illegal entry. Such are 1st steps to the whole problem.. Well done Kevin.

    16. AJ says:

      Christine Milne comes from a pary that seems to think Australian taxpayers are an open chequebook for the Greens beliefs. Representing only 12% of the vote, I think she should personally sponsor, house and feed boat people if she is so fond of them. This announcement is a great solution to a increasingly difficult problem and Rudd is quite right to make a loud and clear statement to people smugglers that the games over. Australia will still be taking their quota of 20,000…this is simply taking task with those trying to rort the exisitng immigration system.