BOATSBOATSBOATSBOATSBOATSBOATSBOATSBOATS!

by Ross Sharp

Prime Minister Tony Abbott on 2GB, interviewed by Andrew Moore, January 9, 2014…

PRIME MINISTER:

… But the important thing for us is that we do STOP THE BOATS Andrew. I mean this is a non-negotiable for us. This is for us, a matter of our sovereignty.

Now, I absolutely understand Indonesia’s concern for its sovereignty and I fully respect Indonesia’s sovereignty. There is no way on God’s earth that any Australian government – particularly a government that I lead – would in way trespass on Indonesia’s sovereignty.

But, but, when these BOATS KEEP COMING ILLEGALLY to our country, that is a sovereignty issue for us.

It is absolutely non-negotiable. THESE BOATS WILL STOP. THESE BOATS WILL STOP and we will do whatever is necessary, consistent with our international obligations and ordinary decency, to STOP THE BOATS and that’s exactly what we are doing.

ANDREW MOORE:

You’ve campaigned about that loudly and for a long time – well before the election campaign – you’ve done it for years in opposition and the same with Scott Morrison. I understand the decision taken by the Immigration Minister and your Government not to run a daily commentary on BOATS ARRIVING here, because you don’t want to encourage people smugglers obviously in Indonesia.

PRIME MINISTER:

And we don’t want to give rise to a whole lot of mischief making. And I’d rather be criticised for being a bit of a closed-book on this issue and actually STOP THE BOATS.

And that’s the point, the point is not to provide sport for public discussion. The point is to STOP THE BOATS and I am pleased to say that it is now several weeks since we have had a BOAT and the less that we talk about operational details on the water the better when it comes to STOPPING THE BOATS.

ANDREW MOORE:

The only thing I would put to you is why not announce or talk about the fact that you have SENT BOATS BACK if you have? Whether it is one, two, five, ten or none? Because does that not serve the purpose of not commenting daily on BOAT ARRIVALS in terms of being the opposite effect of promoting it for people smugglers saying this is what is going to happen?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well Andrew, if BOATS WERE COMING at the rate of 50,000 illegal arrivals a year which was the case in July and if not they are hardly coming at all obviously some things have changed.

Now, the important thing is that the measures have been put in place which have dramatically SLOWED BOAT ARRIVALS – that is the important thing …

Everyone got the message?

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