Border forces have ramped up efforts to deter asylum seekers from arriving illegally in Australia by boat as people smugglers use a recent High Court decision to trick people into believing their journey will be successful.
The Australia Border Force and Operation Sovereign Borders have launched a joint agency taskforce in response to increased smuggling operations.
OSB commander Rear Admiral Justin Jones has starred in a series of deterrence videos that aim to clear up rumours about Australia’s border rules.
The video campaigns, translated into 16 languages, come following increased smuggling activity in south and southeast Asia.
Rear Admiral Jones warns those travelling illegally to Australia by boat have a ‘zero chance’ of success’ despite what people smugglers may be telling them.
In November, over 100 people were released from indefinite detention after a landmark High Court ruling found they were being held unlawfully.
‘The recent High Court of Australia decision does not change Australia’s tough border protection policies. People smugglers will spread lies about this decision in an attempt to take your money, put your life at risk and offer you a futile journey in return,’ Rear Admiral Jones said in one of the OSB video.
‘Let me be clear: Anyone, anywhere, who attempts to illegally migrate to Australia by boat will be stopped, returned to their country of origin or point of departure, or transferred to a regional processing country.
‘You will never settle in Australia. Australia’s border and defence personnel are constantly working. Our borders are watched, and every vessel is closely monitored, all day, every day. You have zero chance of success.’
The stark warning comes after 12 asylum seekers arrived undetected on an isolated stretch of the Anjo Peninsula, on the northern tip of Western Australia.
The all-male group then walked through rugged bushland in 35C heat arriving at the remote Truscott North Kimberley Airport last Wednesday.
They were given food and water by airport staff who described them as being in ‘poor shape’ before they were flown to Nauru within 41 hours.
It marked the second group to be sent to the detention centre since 11 people were intercepted in September.
Before then, asylum seekers had not been sent to Nauru for nine years.
State Liberal Party MP Neil Thomson told Daily Mail Australia that news of the arrivals is an ‘obvious concern’ for Australians and indicative of the Federal Government’s stance on asylum seekers.
‘It does raise issues around the broader messaging that Australia has been sending in recent days, particularly with the release of those convicted persons who were released by the by court decision,’ he said.
Just 24 hours after the latest interception, Indonesian police stopped a group of Bangladeshi nationals from boarding a boat to Australia.
Opposition leader Peter Dutton has accused Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil of being ‘asleep at the wheel’ following two interceptions on Australia’s borders in September
Those preparing to set sail had reportedly paid $10,000 to travel from Citepus, a town in Western Java, to Christmas Island.
Opposition leader Peter Dutton has accused Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil of being ‘asleep at the wheel’ following the interceptions – including the 11 asylum seekers that were sent to Nauru in September.
Mr Dutton said she had failed to protect Australians following a string of cyberattacks and wasn’t doing enough to deter illegal arrivals by boat.
‘It’s obviously been a very difficult 18 months or so for Australians though,’ he said.
‘We’ve had a lot of theft of data on this minister’s watch, who I think has been asleep at the wheel.
‘I think Clare O’Neil has been pretty embarrassed by what we’ve seen on her watch in terms of failures in the cybersecurity space and now obviously people who are being put onto Nauru as well.’
Ms O’Neil said the government’s commitment to OSB was ‘resolute’ and said the government had invested $1.59billion in protecting Australia’s borders.
‘We support it and we implement it and that’s why everyone who has tried to come to Australia by boat since we were elected is either awaiting return in Nauru or already back in their home country,’ she told The Australian.
‘Our government has no hesitation whatsoever in resourcing this properly, and making the tough decisions needed to keep our borders safe.’
Meanwhile, an Iranian asylum seeker who arrived at Australia’s shores by boat a decade ago has spent his first night as a free man.
Ned Kelly Emeralds (pictured with supporter, songwriter Dawn Barrington) is enjoying his first taste of freedom in Australia after he was released from immigration detention
Ned Kelly Emeralds is a free man, 10 years after he fled Iran and arrived in Australia
Ned Kelly Emeralds was kept in immigration detention since fleeing Iran in 2013 in fear of persecution after he renounced his faith, an illegal act in his home country.
On Thursday, he became the 142nd long-term detainee to be released after winning a Federal Court challenge in the wake of the High Court decision.
The former metallurgical engineer legally changed his name to Ned Kelly Emeralds in a nod to the 19th century Australian outlaw.
Some of the other asylum seekers recently released by the Albanese government have convictions for serious criminal offences, including murder and child rape, while four have refused to wear ankle monitoring devices.
The case of Mr Emeralds, who has never been sentenced for a crime or had a visa cancelled, was the first to be heard since the High Court ruling.
Federal Court Justice Geoffrey Kennett ruled that Mr Emeralds’ detention in Western Australia was unlawful because there was ‘no real prospect’ of his deportation ‘becoming practicable in the reasonably foreseeable future’.
Justice Kennett described it as a ‘particularly disturbing case’ and ordered the immediate release of Mr Emeralds to enjoy his first taste of freedom in Australia after a decade of being transported from one detention centre to another.