Political leaders in Canberra could have the final say on individual tow-backs of people-smuggling boats to Indonesian waters under the Coalition’s refugee strategy, Scott Morrison says.
Interviewed on Sky News‘s Australian Agenda this morning, the Opposition’s immigration spokesman also confirmed the Australian Navy would be expected to siphon petrol from smuggler’s vessels before abandoning them near Indonesian territory under the border protection regime.
The Howard-era policy, he said, would see the flow of boats slow to the level experienced during the mid-2000s, during which only 18 boats arrived over six years.
Mr Morrison said decisions to tow back boats to Indonesian waters would be made “within the chain of command” which ends at the political level.
“If it is elevated to that (political) level, if they believe it needs that sort of direction in order to implement a policy then obviously those within the chain of command can seek that guidance,” he said.
“There is an established chain of command that has been operating for a very long time. It is there to manage risk, it is there to manage safety issues, it is there to manage the effectiveness of the mission, and we put our faith in that chain of command.”
“It is our policy to respect the chain of command.”
Mr Morrison said his policy had been supported by senior former military officers.Source: The Australian – Canberra to make final call on tow-backs under Coalition plan
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