The Federal Opposition has said it will buy boats off Indonesian fisherman to stop them selling the vessels to people smugglers.
The plan’s been ridiculed by Labor, with Bill Shorten calling it the “maritime version of cash for clunkers,” according to ABC News.
Part of a $440 million border protection policy unveiled by Tony Abbott in Darwin today, around $20 million will be allocated to the boat buy-back, as well as other programs aimed at disrupting people smuggling in Indonesian villages.
Labor claims, given Indonesia is an archipelago, the opposition will have to buy 726,000 vessels to have an impact, according to The Australian.
“Indonesia has one of the biggest fishing fleets in the world,” said Immigration Minister Tony Burke.
Here’s what Tony Abbott said about the plan:
“It makes a lot more sense to pay a few thousand dollars in Indonesia rather than spend $12 million once the boats bring their cargo to Australia.
“This is money that we will make available to be sensibly deployed by people on the ground who are determined to stop the boats, far more effectively than has happened until now.”
Read more here.
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