Half a dozen Chinese men have managed to sail ashore onto Australian soil rubbishing claims from the Turnbull Government that asylum boats have been stopped.
Six Chinese nationals alongside one man from Papa New Guinea, believed to be a people smuggler, managed to breach Australian Border Force when landing on Saibai Island on August 20.
Saibai Island has a population of around 300 people and is located 150 kilometres north of Queensland and just four kilometres from Papa New Guinea.
Half a dozen Chinese men have managed to sail ashore onto Australian soil rubbishing claims from the Turnbull Government that asylum boats have been stopped (Asylum seekers attempting to arrive in Australia in 2012 pictured)
One of the Chinese men and the Papua New Guinean man were arrested and charged with aggravated people smuggling, while the five other Chinese nationals were returned to China, The Age reported.
On Monday Immigration Minister Peter Dutton was insistent that ‘we’ve not had a successful boat now in well over 1000 days’, with the news of the breach coming as a blow to the government.
The arrested duo faced a Cairns court over the weekend and remain in custody.
Their motive for arriving in Australia has yet to be determined whether they were asylum seekers.
It appears their arrival has been a breach of Operation Sovereign Borders, a suggestion that a high level source has denied.
Sovereign Borders, introduced during Tony Abbott’s tenure, Australia have turned asylum seeker boats around at sea, not allowing them to dock on Australian land.
On Monday Immigration Minister Peter Dutton (pictured) was insistent that ‘we’ve not had a successful boat now in well over 1000 days’, with the news of the breach coming as a blow to the government
Opposition leader Bill Shorten has lambasted the decision for the government’s plan to withdraw financial support to Australian-based asylum seekers as Turnbull’s ‘weakest move yet’ and is a ‘new low’ for the prime minister
Since his appointment Malcolm Turnbull has embraced the controversial policy, celebrating its third year anniversary last month.
‘Since Operation Sovereign Borders commenced we have turned back or dealt with 31 boats and had those 31 boats got through, hundreds and hundreds of boats would have followed. So this problem has not gone away,’ Mr Dutton said.
Malcolm Turnbull has come under pressure for his plan to end support for about 100 asylum seekers residing in Australia but Mr Dutton has stood by the decision saying they will still have other benefits including Medicare.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten has lambasted the decision as Turnbull’s ‘weakest move yet’ and is a ‘new low’ for the prime minister.