Why should we care about their kids when they don’t? Why do our do-gooders care about their kids when they don’t care about ours?
PEOPLE-SMUGGLERS are offering “kids travel free” deals and reducing prices in a bid to encourage asylum-seekers to make dangerous boat trips to Australia and revitalise their flagging operations.
In his first speech since taking command of Operation Sovereign Borders, Angus Campbell said last night people-smuggling ventures to Australia had failed, asylum-seekers were much less willing to travel and there had been no surge of Âattempted voyages since the end of the monsoon season.
Eight months after he was appointed to implement the Abbott government’sÂ tough and multi-facetedÂ border protection strategy, Lieutenant General Campbell told the Australian Strategic Policy Institute that Australia had seized the initiative from the people-smuggling gangs.
But he added that efforts could not be relaxed. InterÂnational syndicates were looking for the first opportunity to point out to potential customers any change in policy.
“To modify a well-known and very apt phrase, ‘the price of border security is eternal vigilance’,” General Campbell said.
“Clearly, the business of Âpeople-smuggling to Australia is under great pressure, with much-reduced prices, special deals and some smugglers offering kids to travel for free …
“Unfortunately, there are too many prospective travellers susceptible to believing that Nauru is a town in Australia.”
General Campbell said border-protection efforts were not just benefiting Australia but also preventing a significant number of deaths at sea that might otherwise have occurred.
“This is something of which our Operation Sovereign Borders team can be justifiably proud,” he said.Â “The flow of Âirregular migrants into the Âregion has clearly slowed.Â ”
He said while the benefits so far were real, they were also modest.
“Substantially changing the irregular flow towards AusÂtralia, and drawing down the pool of potential illegal immigrants in transit countries, will require years, not months, of collective regional effort,” he said. “More and more elements of this effort are now under way.
“ In Papua New Guinea, and very soon on Nauru, we are seeing the first refugee status determinations being made, and settlement pathways being developed. These are very important steps and reinforce the principal message of Operation Sovereign Borders; the smuggler’s way to Australia is closed.”