- uploaded: Sep 26, 2013
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He said he'd stop the boats, and that's exactly what he's started doing. Through a tough new policy, Australia's new Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his Liberal Party are living up to their pre- election commitment to decrease the amount of refugee boats arriving on Australian shores. "Operation Sovereign Borders" is the Abbott government's military-led plan to turn asylum seekers' boats back to their country of origin and stop people smugglers in their tracks. Run by Deputy Chief of Army, Angus Campbell, the plan will operate in several key ways. First, through a $10 million joint taskforce, boats will be turned back to their source and transit countries, such as Indonesia. This part of the plan also includes buying old boats from Indonesian fishermen and paying Indonesians to spy on people smuggling operations. Indonesian MP Tantowi Yahya has already voiced his disapproval of the plan and says it could damage relations between Australia and Indonesia by interfering with Indonesia's sovereignty. C.E.O of The Refugee Council of Australia, Paul Power, sides with this notion and is concerned about the welfare of asylum seekers. The plan will also see the restoration of temporary protection visas and increased capacity at off-shore processing centres. Immigration and Border Protection Minister, Scott Morrison, has confirmed that the Coalition will not be carrying through with the previous government's plan to establish a new detention centre in Singleton. Instead, they will re-direct the $58 million to offshore processing facilities at Manus Island and Nauru. The government will also deny refugee status to those believed to have discarded their identity documentation. A significant point of controversy has been the government's decision to restrict the flow of news pertaining to boat arrivals. While they claim that this is a necessary step towards to prevent crucial information from reaching people smugglers , the Opposition has criticized Mr Morrison's vow of silence, saying the lack of transparency is unacceptable. Chris Bowen: He told us he had a plan to stop the boats, we now know he had a plan to stop the press releases. Only time will tell whether this secrecy will be helpful or harmful to the Coalition's plan.