Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Operation Sovereign Borders

There is a national emergency on our borders.

 Today, Scott Morrison and I announced that a Coalition government will establish a military-led response to combat people smuggling and to protect our borders – Operation Sovereign Borders.

 If elected, a Coalition government will initiate Operation Sovereign Borders which will be led by a senior military commander of 3 star ranking. In the first 100 days of a Coalition government, Operation Sovereign Borders will undertake key initiatives including:

 * Establishing the Operation Sovereign Borders HQ and creating a joint agency taskforce;

 * Finalising and issuing protocols for Operation Relex II, to turn back boats where it is safe to do so;

* Increasing capacity at offshore processing centres; and

 * Lease and deploy additional vessels to relieve patrol vessels of passenger transfers.

 Under Labor, there are more than 12 separate government agencies that have involvement in, or responsibility for, the security of our borders, yet the boats still keep coming and too much is falling between the cracks.

A Coalition government will streamline decision making into a single command structure with participation from all related agencies. Operation Sovereign Borders is another part of the Coalition’s policy for stronger borders which will deliver the safe, secure Australia that all Australians expect.

Our policy for stronger borders will:

 * Re-establish rigorous offshore processing for illegal arrivals;

 * Give orders to the Navy to turn back boats where safe to do so;

 * Re-introduce Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs) for asylum seekers found to be genuine refugees, and return them home when it is safe;

 * Deny those asylum seekers who deliberately discard identification documentation the benefit of the doubt when determining their refugee status

 * Work with our neighbours to stop people smugglers and deter their customers from coming into the region; and

 * Guarantee places for offshore humanitarian visa applicants by denying permanent visas to illegal boat arrivals.

 For more details you can find today's full document here ( .

Regards, Tony Abbott
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