just how Alexander Downer thought that his comments on Fran Kelly’s breakfast program last week were going to improve the asylum seeker problem. The previous government had a solution- undertaken “sotto vocce” and it “hasn’t generated much publicity lately in Australia”:
We used to get the navy not to guide the boats into the Australian shoreline, what we did (laugh) was we got the navy to tow the boats back to the Indonesian Territorial Waters, left the boats with enough fuel, food and so on to get to a port in Indonesia, guided them to where to go and then left them- obviously monitored to make sure that the boat was safe, but disappeared over the horizon…. We didn’t run around boasting that we were doing this because we knew the Indonesians accepted these people back through gritted teeth.
My wordy, that’s a refugee policy to be proud of, and one we’d endorse heartily if the boats were sailing in the other direction, wouldn’t we. Ah yes, we can hold our heads high.