The Government of the Republic of Nauru

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Australian immigration minister delivers hardline message on illegal boat arrivals

Australian immigration minister delivers hardline message on illegal boat arrivals


Australia's Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Scott Morrison visited all three processing centre sites on Nauru today (9 Oct) to deliver a hard and clear message to asylum seekers that the rules on illegal boat arrivals are now stronger and tougher.


The minister said the strong policy is put in place to prevent people from attempting to arrive in to Australia illegally by sea.


"People who arrive by boat illegally in Australia will not be resettled in Australia."


"We [Australia] are increasing the level of police and other cooperation in the region and those arranging these voyages will be arrested and prosecuted with crimes related to people smugglers," Mr Morrison said.


The minister said this also applied to those already in Australia.


"It will not matter if they are family or friends, they will be prosecuted and their Australian visa cancelled, regardless whether they are refugees or not."


With the aide of interpreters Mr Morrison spoke to two groups of asylum seekers at the two camps accommodating families and single adult males.


"People smugglers told you lies and you should tell your friends and families not to believe those lies because you will not get what you came for."


All claims for asylum will be processed under Nauruan law. If a claim has a positive outcome, that asylum seeker will remain on Nauru until a resettlement country other than Australia, is nominated; and any negative outcome will also see the asylum seeker remain on Nauru until arrangements are made to have that person moved back to their home country.


Mr Morrison encouraged those who wished to return home do so with the assistance of service providers at the RPC and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).


Throughout his visit, Mr Morrison was accompanied by Nauru's Minister for Justice and Border Control David Adeang, the Australian High Commissioner Bruce Cowled and senior staff from both delegations.


The official delegation also inspected the staff accommodation blocks being constructed in Anibare District, before a meeting with local government officials at the parliament conference room.


Mr Morrison then met with members of the Opposition at the Australian High Commission before departing later in the afternoon (9 Oct) on a Royal Australian Air Force plane back to Australia.


Minister Morrison was accompanied on this visit by Chief of Staff Robert Correll and DIAC First Assistant Secretary and Regional Processing Centre Support Ken Douglas. They arrived in Nauru yesterday (8 Oct) afternoon, inspected the RoN Hospital and later attended a dinner reception hosted by His Excellency President Baron Waqa and Madam Waqa.


This is Mr Morrison's first trip to Nauru as an Australian government minister.