Australian PM issues warning to prospective people smugglers
17 Feb 2019, 23:37 ( 3 Months ago)
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has issued a stern message to people smugglers and would-be asylum seekers, warning them to stay away from Australia.
Morrison, who was the architect of Australia's strict border policies during his time as the minister for immigration and border protection between 2013 and 2014, has recorded a video message for prospective people smugglers.
In the video, Morrison tells viewers that "no one who attempts an illegal boat journey to Australia will ever be allowed to settle here."
It was recorded after the opposition Australian Labor Party (ALP) teamed up with independent Members of Parliament (MPs) to deliver a historic defeat for the government in parliament, passing new laws for the medical evacuations of asylum seekers being held in offshore detention.
Despite the laws only applying to those in detention at the time the bill was passed, the governing Liberal-National party coalition (LNP) has argued it will pave the way for more asylum seekers to try to enter Australia illegally by boat.
"Australian border protection authorities will intercept any people smuggling boat that approaches Australia and they will return those on board to their country of departure or home country," Morrison said in the video.
"Thousands of people travelled to Australia illegally in the past...I will never allow this to happen again."
Christian Porter, the attorney-general for Australia, said on Sunday that the government was carrying out criminal assessments on current detainees who are seeking medical transfers to the mainland.