AUSTRALIA: Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday warned that thousands of asylum seekers will attempt to reach the country by boat if the opposition party wins elections on May 21.
The annual number of asylum seekers arriving in Australian waters by boat peaked at more than 20,000 in 2013, the year the conservative Government was elected and began turning back boats in a military-led policy known as Operation Sovereign Borders.
Prime Minister Morrison suggested his coalition Government’s success against the people smuggling trade had inspired Britain’s plan to put some asylum seekers on one-way flights to Rwanda.
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has said a Labor Government would change the national policy on asylum seekers by getting rid of so-called temporary protection visas.
Morrison blamed a previous Labor Government abolishing three-year refugee visas in 2008 for the surge in boat arrivals that followed. Only 161 asylum seekers arrived in 2008. But more than 2,700 arrived the following year and 6,500 in 2010.
Labor has been leading the Government in most opinion polling in recent months. The Government is seeking a rare fourth three-year term. – JAPAN TODAY