Indonesia’s increased naval maritime patrols will help stop asylum seekers making the journey to Australia by boat, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison says.
Indonesia stepped up its naval presence monitoring its southern border after Mr Morrison admitted last week Australian vessels strayed into its northern neighbour’s territory.
“I would welcome Indonesia having patrols in that part of their waters and I’m sure it’s a great deterrence for people trying to get to Australia illegally by boat,” Mr Morrison said on Sunday.
“I welcome the fact the Indonesian government has decided to put their own vessels on the southern coast of Java. I think that provides a very strong deterrence to people smugglers.”
Mr Morrison did say not in response to a question whether he thought it would be harder to turn back boats because of the beefed-up naval presence.
He said the government will continue to take a hard line on people smuggling.
“People who come to Australia illegally by boat risk their own lives and they risk the lives of those who are called upon to rescue them as well,” he said.
“It’s dangerous and it’s not the way that Australians expect people to come to this country.
“That’s why the government has such tough policies to thwart that type of behaviour.”