Australia’s strong border protection policies and capabilities have proven highly effective at preventing illegal boat ventures to Australia.
According to the Commander of Australia’s Operation Sovereign Borders (OSB), Air Vice-Marshal Stephen Osborne, education plays an important role in preventing people from attempting illegal migration to Australia.
“One of the goals of Operation Sovereign Borders is to educate vulnerable people in other countries about the serious risks and consequences of trying to reach Australia illegally by boat.
“If people don’t know the facts about Australia’s border protection policies, there is a risk that they might make a bad decision and attempt a dangerous boat voyage to Australia.
Air Vice-Marshall Osborne explained that the Australian community can play an important part in saving lives and protecting Australia’s borders.
“Our research shows that Australia’s mullticultural communities play a significant role in influencing the migration decisions of people overseas.
“For this reason, we are commited to working with these communities to raise awareness of Australia’s border protection policies, and to encourage community members to share this knowledge with friends and family back home.
“People are more likely to believe information when it comes from a trusted friend or relative, so these people can make a big difference when it comes to influencing the decisions of people offshore,” he said.
Despite OSB’s strong record of preventing illegal migration to Australia, Air Vice-Marshal Osborne warned that we cannot become complacent.
“People smugglers actively spread rumours and false information about changes to our border protection policies or new routes to Australia.
“So it is important that we take every opportunity to get out there and tell the truth, and counter the lies of people smugglers.
“The Australian Government has been clear that its border protection policies will not change.
“Anyone who attempts to reach Australia illegally by boat will be stopped and turned back,” he said.
Air Vice-Marshal Osborne called on Australia’s multicultural communities to talk to family and friends overseas about Australia’s tough border protection policies.
“It is vital that Australia’s multicultural communities help us to protect vulnerable people from being fooled by people smugglers and risking their lives.
“When you talk to your friends and family, please tell them that the only way to come to Australia is with a valid visa. Tell them not to waste their money or risk their life by trusting a people smuggler and getting on a boat.
“The illegal maritime pathway to Australia is closed, and it will stay closed,” he said.
For more information on OSB, please visit www.australia.gov.au/novisa