Sunday, 2 February 2014

Has Abbott really stopped the boats?

Mr Morrison, when asked at what point authorities intercepted asylum-seeker boats, told the committee: 'Where they're legally able to be done.' [Sky News 31 January 2014]

What the Federal Immigration Minister is saying is that the Australian Navy and Customs vessels are stopping, boarding, taking control of, and turning around or towing back asylum seeker boats within 24 nautical miles of the established low water line along Australia’s coast.

That is the sea between the coastline and outer edge of the green line on this map.

Click map to enlarge

I have a strong suspicion that at least some of the SIEV boats turned/towed since 19 December 2013 made it into Australian territorial waters before they were boarded.

One of these boat may possibly have done so on or about 1 January 2014 near Melville Island.

So has Abbott really stopped the boats or is he just scooping them up under cloak of secrecy and removing them from Australian territory?

Sometimes using lifeboats as in this photograph? 1 February 2014

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