Sunday, 23 April 2017
Media release

1000 days of strong and secure borders

It’s now been 1000 days since the last people smuggling boat reached Australia and more than three years since the last known death at sea at the hands of people smugglers.

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said the Australian Government is determined to make sure it stays that way.

“This achievement demonstrates beyond a doubt that the Coalition’s tough border protection policies have and are working,” Mr Dutton said.

“Before Operation Sovereign Borders, Australia saw more than 50,000 illegal maritime arrivals on more than 800 people smuggling boats, more than 8000 children in detention and tragically more than 1200 deaths at sea.

“Operation Sovereign Borders has brought maritime people smuggling to a standstill and saved countless lives. This success has enabled the Government to remove all children from detention and close 17 detention facilities.

“Yet despite our success we know the threat of people smuggling still remains,” Mr Dutton said.

“In the past 1000 days, Operation Sovereign Borders has intercepted and returned 30 people smuggling boats and more than 765 people who attempted to reach Australia illegally.

“People smugglers have made numerous attempts to find a way through our defences, but on every occasion our border protection capabilities have succeeded in stopping them.

“Australia’s ability to detect, intercept and turn back people smuggling boats is now stronger than ever.

“This milestone is a credit to the 16 Australian agencies who contribute to Operation Sovereign Borders and the dedicated staff who work every day to secure Australia’s borders.

“I also want to acknowledge the contributions that our international partners have made to disrupting and dismantling criminal people smuggling networks.

“Australia and our regional partners remain resolute in our efforts to stamp out people smuggling across the region.

“We must ensure that no more people are tricked into risking their lives on unsafe boats and ruining their family’s financial future through the scams of people smugglers.

“Settlement in Australia will never be an option for anyone who attempts to travel to Australia illegally by boat. There are no exceptions.”