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Border Protection Hypocrisy

Come by boat and you will be denied entry to Australia for ever, but if you come by plane, it’s okay. This is the bizarre outcome the ‘stop the boats’ policy has produced.

People smugglers are alive and well, doing great business, after changing their business model to accommodate the government crackdown on asylum seekers coming to our shores by boat.

Figures just released by the Home Affairs department show that 27,931 protection visa applications were made in the latest financial year by asylum seekers who have come by plane.

This is a record under this government or the previous Labor government.

The previous record number was 26,845 in the 2012-13 financial year, under Labor. But that figure included 18,365 for boat arrivals and only 8480 for those who came by plane. And the figures for 2018-19 will by higher still.

The surge of arrivals by plane requesting asylum has created a mounting backlog of applications, mainly from China, Malaysia and India, and is now taking up to three years to process, largely because the Home Affairs department is reducing its frontline staffing.

The hypocrisy is mind-numbing. It also raises the question: where are these plane arrivals being accommodated? The numbers are too great to be sent to Christmas Island. Are they detained in special centres? Again, the numbers are too high for that. So how are we managing these applicants?

No, they are living in the community, under protection visas that enable them to work and be exploited by unscrupulous employers. This requires a high degree of skilled management by people smugglers who liaise with local employers and receive ongoing commissions for their efforts.

So which party is soft on border protection? Why are we not patrolling our airports, seeking out possible asylum seekers masquerading as tourists among the millions who arrive each year? Where is the outrage?

Just to demonstrate that this past year is not a glitch, over the past four years since the government “stopped the boats”, 64,362 protection visa applications have been made by individuals who have arrived on tourist visas, by plane, under Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton’s watch.

Meanwhile, a comparatively small number of refugees on Manus Island and Nauru, wait out a determined government’s refusal to allow them entry to Australia, for no other reason, than coming by boat.

There is a high degree of organisation required to successfully pass through Australian Immigration, not just here but also at major departure points such as Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

This is a highly sophisticated trafficking operation and has placed our immigration officials under huge stress. Maintaining a constant supply of asylum seekers using the ‘fly-in’ model is proving more popular because it is more profitable. The more that come, the more difficult it is to process them.

It is clear that by curtailing the boat arrivals, the government has indirectly encouraged people smugglers to develop new and more sophisticated methods of delivery, exploiting weaknesses in our processing procedures.

One might argue that at least they are not risking their lives coming by sea. Really? Just when did it become popular to be concerned about people dying at sea while trying to get to Australia on leaking boats?

It certainly wasn’t during John Howard’s time. Back then no one gave a rat’s hiss. Only when Kevin Rudd became prime minister did we begin to hear plaintive cries of concern for the safety of women and children. The hypocrisy was palpable.

You will be hearing a lot about border protection over the coming months as we head towards an election. It will be unrelenting as the government tries to paint Labor as weak, all the while, hiding its own pathetic failures.

The media will be fed the usual drivel, with no mention of those arriving by plane. Hopefully, the release of these figures will put an end to that.

Sources: Details of the Onshore Humanitarian Program 2017-18 Delivery and outcomes for Non–Illegal Maritime arrival (Non –IMA) as at 30 June 2018, can be found on the HOME Affairs website at:
With thanks and recognition, further information can be found at: and

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  1. Ill fares the land

    The “stop the boats” mantra is at the very least a couple of things. It is firstly a distraction and scurrilous and incompetent government just LOVE distractions. Even good governments like distractions because there are always things the government would like to do without garnering any real attention.

    In this case, it is a political wedge. No-one dares to seriously force the issue of refugees on Manus and Nauru, because they are exposed to the hysterical shrieking about border security.

    The facts, which can be supported, so this is not “opinion” are that there is a very, very profitable industry that has been established to get large numbers of “refugees” into Australia, but in addition, very large numbers who simply want to come to Australia – in particular Chinese. There is now an entire industrial comlex established around agents organising visas to get into Australia for substantial fees; money laundering to move large amounts of cash from China into Australia (China has long had a limit on the amount of cash that its citizens can take out of China, but it has not really been enforced until perhaps more recently); real estate agents who make substantial incomes selling Australian property to Chinese; “agents” in China who dupe people into coming into Australia on incorrect visas on the understanding they can get PR. The agents who grease those wheels are more sophisticated than the scum who charge a fortune to put people on rickety, often unseaworthy boats, but they are no less succours who have developed strategies to make them very wealthy.

    Whether the numbers of Chinese coming to this country is a good or bad thing is not so clear cut – the real issue is that compared to the many, many tens of thousands of Chinese who flood into this country, the meagre numbers on Manus and Nauru are utterly trivial. But for an incompetent nitwit like Morrison, any opportunity he can get to mention Bill Shorten’s name in the same sentence as “boats”, “we stopped the boats”, “we stopped people drowning at sea”, “we’re keeping Australians safe”, or “soft on border protection” is to be slavishly savoured. THAT’S what this is all about – not the horrors that will apparently be unleashed if 1200 refugees are allowed into Australia.

  2. Mark Needham

    Skimmers and Skammers, will always find a way to rort a system. At least no one seems to have died, coming to Australia by air.

    Mark Needham

  3. ajogrady

    The L/NP have perpetrated many massive swindles and frauds on the Australian public. The stand out is trickle down economics closely followed by the L/NP’s other economic strong suit, Vodoo Economics. The L/NP’s mantra that “greed is good” and that privatisation is the answer has proven to be a total failure. Now that the L/NP’s and Duttons super ministry is another failure they want to privatise visas which will corrupt the visa process and border protection.
    But another stand out is the L/NP’s “turn back the boats” policy. How many people have drowned after the boats they are travelling in have been turned back under the direction of the L/NP government policy? The Australian people will never know as it is “on water matters” which is clouded in secrecy and totally non-transparent. A large proportion of gullible Australians think that these desperate people just conveniently disappear without coming to any harm in a old rickety boat on the high seas. The fear and loathing of the L/NP is destroying Australia and Australians. The “fair go” that Australia was built on is fast becoming a distant memory under the L/NP.

  4. Diannaart

    Excellent work, John.

    Maybe it’s a class thing, refugees arriving by plane ‘better’ than boat people. I know this sounds facile, but with this Liberal government … you just never know.

  5. New England Cocky

    Well done John Kelly!! The down-sizing of Border Force over the Christmas period is reported as a cost saving exercise …. so THAT tells you how important border protection is to Scat Morriscum et al.

    This TND article details other “cost saving measures”.

    The real reason for under-resourcing Immigration is to “encourage” the privatisation of visas so that the private sector can control the influx of underpaid, non-union 457 visa worker-slaves. Then there are any secret commission benefits from people smuggling and communist PRC external migration programme.

  6. David1

    @ajogrady…..excellent point. .. ‘But another stand out is the L/NP’s “turn back the boats” policy. How many people have drowned after the boats they are travelling in have been turned back under the direction of the L/NP government policy? The Australian people will never know as it is “on water matters” which is clouded in secrecy and totally non-transparent.’

    Hopefully when Labor is returned early next year they will throw Dutton’s Dept books open and do some digging. Of course being the crooks the LNP are, there will be much shredding in the interim period of changeover. Thanks John for the article I have posted on Twitter.

  7. helvityni

    Boats not OK, planes fine…it’s almost comical…

    What about some sportiness, Aussies after all love their sportsmen and women: why not some long-distance swimming…

  8. Shaun Newman

    For the Coalition, the latest Newspoll result entrenches the view that an early election would be preferable as for the third month in a row they are 10 points behind in the poll. The longer the delay the worse things will get for them, they could be all but wiped out if the situation lasts till May 19′ especially if a week is a long time in politics. The new Prime Minister is also on the nose in our egalitarian, secular society with his religious fanaticism and his pretense to be a daggy Dad.

  9. Mark Needham

    Of course, at the border, arriving by air, with passports visas, at least some form of identification. (false or not)
    Customs, Immigration, do have a CHOICE to put the person back on the next plane out.
    It’s not about the carriage system, it’s about immigration. Of course, if anyone is recommending that the Boat Option, be allowed to start again..?

    Mark Needham

  10. Hefina

    This is all this Government has, deaths at sea, stop the boats,stop the boats,and abuse towards Bill Shorten. They are scared of Bill Shorten otherwise why are the targeting him,
    Every QTime it’s deaths at sea!!! Peter Dutton should be wiped out at this up coming election. As should Morrison.
    We are fed up with the contunuation of these slogans, they are dead and buried.
    Why wasn’t Peter Dutton at work this last two weeks?
    Is he working on his constituency , he seems to be walking around talking about Bill!,anyone dare ask him if it’s real, !! His injury,
    I doubt it. He is door knocking I assumed trying to save his seat of Dixon.
    I’m going to throw something at my tV if anyone of the liberals mentions death at sea..

  11. Kronomex

    When you are a party of bluff, bluster, bs, and nothing else and there is an election looming then it’s time to drag out the hoary old standbys; crime, terror, paedophiles, fear, fear, and yet more fear to try and drag the commoners around to voting you back in again.

    Oh yes, must not forget the usual lies; Labor Taxes evil, Labor bad, not stop boats, and Labor this and Labor that so on and so forth. LNP good, LNP strong, LNP stop boats, LNP protect you…

  12. Roswell

    Kronomex, it worked for Howard so they’ve been trying it ever since. Every election, without fail.

    I’m pleased that Labor don’t lower themselves to try something similar.

  13. Baby Jewels

    None of this is new of course. It’s been happening for a long time. I never did understand it.

  14. terence mills

    The irony is that if a prospective refugee or asylum seeker actually arrives in Australia (frequently by air) we have an obligation under international law to provide sanctuary and protection until the claim for refugee status has been processed.

    Those arriving by boat are easy to turn back so that they don’t actually penetrate our borders and when they are apprehended we then ship them off to Nauru or PNG so that they cannot claim asylum in this wide brown land.

    For those who’ve come across the seas
    We’ve boundless plains to share;
    With courage let us all combine
    To Advance Australia Fair.

    I hear that the Morrison government are going to change some of the lyrics to Advance Australia Fair can anybody come up with something more fitting ? – the winner with the most appropriate alternative lyrics will win a dinner for two with Peter Dutton !!!

  15. Mark Needham

    It will not be, Medicare, Education, Nauru.

    “I’m pleased that Labor don’t lower themselves to try something similar.”

    Course they won’t,
    Mark Needham

  16. Zathras

    There’s a building on fire and the occupants are desperately trying to escape.
    Some are jumping from windows and others exiting via various doors.
    However, the attending Emergency Services are insisting that they will only assist people who are prepared to exit via the front door and will send others back inside until they comply. Others that still manage to escape the fire via other exits will not receive local medical treatment and are locked away in a place where it is forbidden to report on them as an example to possible future victims.

    One thing is for sure – it was never about drownings. Half the drownings happened after the Libs stopped the so-called “Malaysian Solution” but later fumbled their own scheme.

    It’s always been about votes, dog-whistling to extremists and trying to lure back One Nation defectors and is now an undeniable part of our history.

  17. Mark Needham

    ZathrasDecember 11, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    Now there is a beaut analogy. Lenin and Hitler would love that one.

    I mean, I can see why you do not identify yourself and hide behind a pseudonym. I definitely wouldn’t claim that as coming from my brain or heart., at least not in public.

    Words of derision, fail me.
    Mark Needham

  18. helvityni

    Zathras, spot on.

    “One thing is for sure – it was never about drownings”

    Indeed it’s always about votes; how else you could explain the fact that the ones who DID NOT drown were punished and put in indefinite detention.

    Labor goes me-too, fearing the loss of votes if taking a softer ,more humane stance on asylum seekers.

  19. Mal

    So is that 64,000 Au Pairs?

  20. terence mills

    Reported on the ABC news today :

    Australian Border Force are to reduce sea patrols to our North as a cost saving measure.

    Does this mean that boat incursions are now considered unlikely or is it a cynical ploy to perhaps encourage more boat incursions prior to the election.

  21. terence mills

    From the Sydney Morning Herald

    “The Australian Border Force plans to save money on fuel by pulling ships from ocean patrols, amid a high-stakes political fight between the Morrison government and Labor over border security policy.

    The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age has sighted an internal Border Force email stating that “operational limitations” will be imposed to achieve a saving in the annual fuel budget and “ships will cease active patrolling to achieve this fuel saving”.

  22. Diannaart


    But what about preventing drownings?

    Will smugglers leap into action?

    Could there be another Tampa?

    The mysterious workings of the LNP.

  23. terence mills


    I saw a panel of SKY after-dark numpties on the Paul Murray show last night : they were reassuring each other that this next election would be fought on national security and border protection and it was almost as though they really wanted a few boat incursions prior to the election to reinforce their argument that there would be an armada of boats if Labor got into office.

    If people smugglers are watching and listening and looking for a weakness in our border protection as Peter Dutton insists they are, it would seem that cutting back maritime patrols is exactly what they have been waiting for.

  24. Diannaart

    If these nuff-nuffs were serious about saving money they’d scrap offshore detention.

  25. Adrianne Haddow

    the Libs won’t scrap offshore detention because too many of their lobbyists are making serious money from the practice. Note Wilson security and Broadspectrum aka Transfield, and the everchanging detention administration regimes as one company after another gets their turn to rake in the taxpayer dollars that support this revolting policy.

    I’ll admit to a bleeding heart for these unfortunate refugees/ asylum seekers. At least Hitler’s victims could forsee an end to their suffering with the end of the war. The current poor scapegoats of America and their allies’ empire building have no one coming to save them.

  26. Kronomex

    If Labor did this the LNP would be screaming the walls down about weakening the borders, allowing people smugglers, etc, etc.

    Could it be Labor’s fault for Border Farce going way over budget and now The Potato has to fix the problem? Does anyone else see a rise in money to B.F. in the next budget? Will the top of Dunttonuci’s head be cleared in time for the Australian Border Flea base of operations and airport to be built and then go into action to prevent dogs smuggling illegal fleas into the country? There has also whispers of establishing a second base on Friedeggburger’s head.

  27. Diannaart


    I am fully aware of the profit motive transcending humanity. In fact, was talking recently about the need for a good hard look at lobbyists. I believe we have reached a saturation point with the limitations brought about by specialist groups which represent business advantage over public good.

    We do need lobbyists from groups where needs are overlooked, such as First Nation, refugees, unemployed, public education, health, environment – all the reasons for which we need governments.

    The private sector is supposed to be independent, being in the business of business – separation of conflicting interests is a paramount concern if we are to stop this trend of government for business.

    No point in wringing our hands in despair at the obscene tangle of corporate and government, when we can see the problem and know for-profit does not translate to for-people.

    Treating people such as refugees is beyond simply being a “bleeding heart” it is about long term sustainability. The displacement of people isn’t going away, high time for cooperation between nations.

    More people are on the move now than ever before. There are an estimated 1 billion migrants in the world today of whom 258 million are international migrants and 763 million internal migrants – one in seven of the world’s population. 65 million of the world’s internal and international migrants are forcibly displaced today. This rapid increase of population movement has important public health implications, and therefore requires an adequate response from the health sector.

    The right of everyone to enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is established in the WHO Constitution of 1948. Ratified international human rights standards and conventions exist to protect the rights of migrants and refugees, including their right to health. Nevertheless, many refugees and migrants often lack access to health services and financial protection for health.

  28. Matters Not

    Senior public servants can play politics as well. Sometimes it’s with a wink and a nod from the Minister but sometimes it’s not. Mike Pezzullo’s been around for a while and is well aware what the political agenda is and knows full well where the tender spots are. Not having patrols over Christmas was never going to fly So there’s a leak from his Department – aimed squarely at Treasury via the MSM. It’s had the desired effect. Further, Pezzullo’s laid the foundations for the coming budget negotiations.

    All departments do it to a greater or lesser extent. Usually, Ministers are asked to provide a list of new programs they want to pursue AND a list of possible savings to pay for same. New Ministers, trying to curry favour with the Treasurer and/or PM/Premier, are easy meat. Remember one Minister offering considerable savings in the hope that he could get his pet project off the ground. Surprise, surprise and shock horror, Treasury accepted ALL the proposed savings but did not fund any new programs. One devastated Minister. You live and learn.

    In Education, the department’s proposed savings (considerable) invariably include an increase in class sizes which means less teachers, teachers aides etc. Strangely, they are never accepted. Must have something to do with bad publicity. So it is with Pezzullo’s gambit, I suspect. (And Dutton was probably in on the stunt.) Novice Treasurer, Joshua Anthony Frydenberg will probably learn. But it will be too late.

  29. Matters Not

    Perhaps Dutton could make another offer to Cambodia? (LOL).

    Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen says his country is “preparing” to receive more refugees from Australia in a controversial deal that has already been labelled a failure and cost the Federal Government almost $50 million.

    In 2014, Australia signed the four-year deal with Cambodia, committing an extra $40 million in aid in exchange for resettling refugees from the offshore detention centre in Nauru.

    Another $15 million for “resettlement” services was also pledged, of which $7.88 million has been spent.

    That deal is seen as an expensive failure with just three of seven resettled refugees from Nauru remaining in Cambodia.

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