A dozen asylum seeker boats were returned at sea and 45 stopped at port under the government’s Operation Sovereign Borders policy, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has told News Limited.
The success of the operation has been previously unknown, with the Federal Government imposing a media blackout on details of boat arrivals.
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison claims only one boat entered Australian waters in the first eight months of the year, compared with 268 boats in the same period last year under a Labor government.
No lives are believed to have been lost at sea since the implementation of the controversial policy.
Forty-five boats departing for Australia were also stopped at port under a separate operation with Malaysian, Indonesian and Sri Lankan authorities, preventing the arrival of 1673 asylum seekers.
More than 200 people-smugglers have been arrested.