July 20, 2013 | Graham

Will people smugglers back Rudd’s plan?

Kevin Rudd’s deal with PNG depends on the assumption that it will stop the flow of immigrants within a month or two. Papua has no interest in becoming “Nuginistan” to allow its former colonial master to escape it’s refugee “problem”, so there has to be a limit to how many refugees it will take.

I suspect that limit is in the thousands, as in much less than the tens of thousands. At the current rate, that is probably¬†less than two months of illegal immigration to Australia. To know the real figure you’ll have to know what winks and nods, or something more substantial, were exchanged in the meetings between O’Neill and Rudd.

What does this mean for the people smuggling trade?

It may mean nothing. It’s possible that the deal will be found to be illegal by the courts. That’s what happened to the Malaysian solution.

But the Malaysian solution had a problem that the PNG one doesn’t – PNG is a signatory of the refugee convention and Malaysia isn’t which was the primary reason the challenge succeeded.

If a legal challenge succeeds, then the people smugglers aren’t affected at all.¬†However, they don’t necessarily need to wait for a legal challenge to be heard.

If they can bring enough people into Australia to overflow the PNG limit, then the trade will still achieve its aim, but only for those who arrive after the limit is breached. That means any refugees between now and then will fail in their aim of reaching Australia.

How might they convince enough refugees to form the bridge over this gap?

It might not be that difficult. If the PNG solution only encompasses a couple of months’ illegal immigration, and all those after that time are then effectively eligible for asylum in Australia again, then pressure could be applied for those in New Guinea to get the same treatment.

Indeed the people smugglers will probably head down this path, because that’s what they are doing already.

While it might make more sense to try to keep Labor in power by stopping the boats until after the election, that is a high risk bet, and the smugglers have obviously decided to offer a once only, illegal immigration, closing down sale as the low risk way of maximising their profits.

In which case the Rudd plan may be neutered even before he is in a position to pass a law.


Posted by Graham at 8:46 pm | Comments (7) |
Filed under: Uncategorized


  1. Well, if there is a limit, say three thousand? Then that is a large enough number to deter everyone except the most desperate or intellectually challenged.
    I mean, who amongst the cashed up “refugees” are going to chance their modest or meagre capital reserves, to be the first guinea pig trial group?
    And in so doing, forever end their own prospects of winning the gold card, Australian citizenship!
    It’s a very large gamble that encompasses extreme risks, and for what?
    PNG is a very large country with a very small population, and therefore can accommodate a significant number of intending migrants, or asylum claimants.
    It also has a history of ethnic violence, revenge killings and disease and therefore, not a desirable destination for intending “economic” migrants.
    Given the sugar has been removed from the table, I think there’s a fair chance this will work, and oblige those who want to settle here, to retain their travel documents and try legal channels!
    Those with the most money will still believe that they can bribe or buy their way to the front of the queue.
    Even then, a better vetting system may find many more are genuine economic migrants, rather than real asylum seekers.
    For my money, the intake of genuine asylum seekers can be further lifted, and those waiting the longest in refugee camps, given the first places.
    There is just no way however, in any fair or just system we can continue to allow a criminal cohort to determine our refugee policies for us.
    Yes, we can expect the irrational, and those with a vested interest in economic outcomes to react with rage and or bleeding heart rhetoric.
    But they will no doubt be a small and shrinking minority, particularly if that then subjects them to an in depth official examination, to thoroughly expose their real motives or possible economic interest!?
    What we might also examine is refugee sponsorship, where Australian citizens, accept full lifetime responsibility for health, welfare and housing of intending migrants.
    Perhaps from an overflow of people already resettled in PNG?
    Even then, we need to ensure these invitees are resettled in regional or rural Australia, rather than already overflowing/overfull capital cities!
    Alan B. Goulding

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — July 21, 2013 @ 12:01 pm

  2. I think there are enough prospective illegals in Indonesia who would take the chance if offered a heavily discounted boat ride. The smugglers could still make a profit at about $500 a head, if they could convince the Indonesian police, army & politicians to forgo their current kick back for a few months.

    The fact is that this will make it more likely that the next wave of invaders will be genuine refugees, rather than the conmen we have been getting in increasing numbers.

    I think Ruddy is likely to go to an election quickly, rather than wait. This policy will fall to bits far too quickly for him to give it much time. However if it takes if a few more months to get round to calling an election, he might have copied enough policies to have a decent platform by the that time. The big question is could he actually manage anything, despite good policies.

    Don’t think there is much doubt what the answer is to that question.

    Comment by Hasbeen — July 22, 2013 @ 10:27 am

  3. We cannot afford to let Indonesian and Iranian crooks affect our refugee intake. All those bleeding hearts appear to be in fantasy land; how about focusing on the existing poverty and lack of amenities amongst our Aboriginal citizens here instead?
    The influx of Iranian boat people are apparently here seeking “Freedom”, yet when settled in Australia attempt to change our existing legal system to also include Shari’ah laws as attempted in NSW. Just listening to radical Islamic Imams is most troubling, to say the least.
    Rudd’s plan is certainly a deterrent to those seeking to bribe crooks. That these aspiring boat people will never ever be settled in Australia is the best deterrent. Perhaps we need to put in place more resources to speed up processing refugees in refugee camps. This may help to also deter people greasing crooks in Indonesia.

    Comment by Jolly — July 22, 2013 @ 12:05 pm

  4. I am utterly disgusted with a minority of “bleeding hearts” who are against any plans, be it Liberal’s or Labor’s, to end people smugglers corrupt practice that endangers people’s lives. Already there have been eleven hundred deaths at sea. Who will cry for those dead asylum seekers? How can a caring Australian society continue to encourage such risks taking madness. The Indonesian corrupt army and fishermen and police are on the take, not to assist the “refugees” but for their own monitory rewards. They don’t care about lives, they just want to make a profit at the expense of lives.

    I am no great fan of the ALP, but Rudd’s current plan is terrific in that it will act as a deterrent to smugglers. No refugee wants to be at PNG and will stop paying the smugglers for a PNG trip. At least for now there will be a temporary slowing down of business for smugglers (people killers).

    Comment by Jolly — July 22, 2013 @ 10:50 pm

  5. According to News people smugglers are reading my blogs, or maybe I’m reading their minds! http://www.news.com.au/national-news/people-smugglers-send-10-new-boats-to-test-prime-minister-kevin-rudd8217s-resolve-for-png-solution/story-fncynjr2-1226683407315 If you can believe the article, 10 new boats are on the way to put pressure on the policy. I suspect they were on the way before the policy, but cause and effect are movable in politics.

    Comment by Graham — July 22, 2013 @ 10:59 pm

  6. Well, if people smugglers are reading your blog Graham?
    Your advice to them should be very circumspect; and leave them in no doubt, they are playing a zero sum game!
    It behoves us all as posters, to ensure they the smugglers are left in no doubt whatsoever, regarding our implacable resolve to deal them out of our migration policies!
    Moreover, to seek and find any amongst our midst, confiscate the proceeds of crime; and punish them with the full force of the law, followed by mandatory deportation.
    Alan B. Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — July 23, 2013 @ 12:06 pm

  7. I was tongue in cheek Alan. And I don’t think they care what we think.

    Comment by Graham — July 23, 2013 @ 3:40 pm

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