Major General Andrew Bottrell CSC and Bar, DSM has been appointed as the new Commander for Operation Sovereign Borders (OSB).
The new Commander has over 30 years’ experience in the Australian Defence Force, graduating from the Royal Military College in 1987. He has served a number of operations overseas with the most recent in late 2012 where he deployed to Afghanistan for Operation SLIPPER.
MAJGEN Bottrell takes over from Lieutenant General Angus Campbell DSC, AM who has been appointed Chief of Army.
The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton thanked LTGEN Campbell for his time as Commander OSB and congratulated him on his appointment to Chief of Army.
“LTGEN Campbell has been instrumental in achieving the Government’s goal of stopping the boats, taking back control of Australia’s borders and defeating people smugglers who manipulate vulnerable men, women and children,” Mr Dutton said.
“His outstanding leadership has ensured that all agencies of Government are now joined up and working effectively to tackle the evil trade of people smuggling.
“MAJGEN Bottrell is more than capable of building on the achievements of his predecessor and I look forward to working with him.
“He will continue to maintain the Government’s tough border protection measures.”
Despite the now low rate of illegal maritime arrivals, maritime people smuggling will remain an enduring challenge for Australia.
“The success of OSB has saved countless lives from being lost at sea and has allowed this Government to offer protection to those most in need, rather than those who can afford to pay a people smuggler,” Mr Dutton said.
“Our mission is not over; Australia’s border protection policies have proven a success but we remain vigilant.
Mr Dutton warned those who are thinking of coming to Australia by boat that a change in Commander did not mean the Australian Government’s policies had changed.
“OSB will remain as an enduring policy under this Government and our commitment to keeping Australia’s borders secure remains unchanged,” Mr Dutton said.
Under this policy, people who travel illegally by boat to Australia will be returned to the country from which they departed, or transferred to a regional processing centre in Nauru or Manus Island. They will never make Australia home.