Kevin Rudd has announced a dramatic change to immigration policy that he says means asylum seekers who travel to Australia by boat will have “no chance” of settling in Australia.
Asylum seekers who arrive by boat will be taken to Manus Island off Papua New Guinea and if their asylum claim is approved they will be able to settle in PNG.
The process will be underpinned by a deal Rudd has just signed in Brisbane this afternoon with PNG before briefing the media.
Rudd had three key challenges when he resumed the prime ministership. They were the internal divisions in the Labor Party, the carbon tax, and border control, all of which have been addressed in significant announcements in the past fortnight.
He’s proposed sweeping changes to Labor party rules which mean it will be practically impossible for a sitting prime minister to be ousted by unhappy MPs, and brought forward the transition from the fixed carbon price to an emissions trading scheme.
Today he’s tackling the border protection question.
Rudd says Australia will continue to take in a large number of refugees under the global humanitarian program.