Australian High Commissioner Robyn Mudie says the Australian Government’s policy against maritime people smuggling is clear and unchanged – the way to Australia is closed.
Australia, under new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, remains committed to protecting its borders and will continue to stop anyone who attempts to come illegally by boat – regardless of where they are from.
High Commissioner Mudie said that cooperation between Australia and Sri Lanka to counter people smuggling has never been stronger, and anyone who attempts to travel illegally by boat to Australia will be detected, intercepted and either returned safely to Sri Lanka or sent to a regional processing centre in Papua New Guinea or Nauru.
“The Prime Minister has also made it very clear that there will be no resettlement of the people on Manus and Nauru in Australia,” Robyn Mudie said.
“Do not believe the lies of people smugglers, no one who travels illegally by boat will make Australia home.”
Referring to the recent Australian Government announcement that it will resettle refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria and Iraq, High Commissioner Mudie confirmed that this has no impact on Australia’s policy to stop people attempting to travel illegally by boat to Australia. Australia will only resettle those refugees who are registered by UNHCR and who are currently in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. These resettlement places will not be provided to anyone arriving in Australia illegally by boat.
“Effective action against people smuggling is in the interests of Australia and Sri Lanka, and our cooperation has saved lives by discouraging people from taking the dangerous boat journey to Australia.” (Colombo Gazette)