The Coalition wants to work with Indonesian police to buy unsafe fishing boats. Photo: Sharon TisdaleThe claim
”Buy the Boats” has joined ”Stop the Boats”.
The Coalition wants to work with Indonesian police and an international partner to buy unsafe fishing boats.
Spokesman Scott Morrison wants ”the option to be able to get that boat before the people smuggler does and stop that boat from leaving Indonesia”.
”That saves lives, it saves the taxpayers’ money ultimately,” he told a Darwin press conference.
It would, if it worked. If it didn’t, it would waste money.
Does it stack up?
Indonesia has the world’s fourth-longest coastline. Its fishing industry employs 6 million people. Fishing accounts for 5 per cent of Indonesia’s GDP. In 2004 the United Nations counted 729,682 boats in Indonesia. Since then, the number has climbed.
Dr Sam Bateman, a retired Australian navy commodore now at the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources & Security says it’s not ”a particularly bright idea”.
”It is so open to abuse. What is a fair price for a boat in any case?” he asks.
Mr Morrison told PolitiFact he was not proposing wholesale purchases, but rather ”targeted, intelligence-led buybacks”.
His policy has been put forward without the support of Indonesian authorities. Mahfudz Siddiq, head of Indonesia’s parliamentary commission for foreign affairs, says it is ”crazy” and ”degrading”.
Dr Christopher Roberts of the ANU National Security College doubts it is feasible ”in terms of implementation, let alone an agreement with the Indonesian side”.
”Do people smugglers come forward and say, ‘Please buy my boat?’ It would need a lot of money when people smugglers can put 100 people on a boat at $5000 a person.”
He says some analysts have labelled Kevin Rudd’s plan to resettle all boat people in Papua New Guinea a ”39-day policy” – an unworkable election fix. Morrison’s might be labelled a ”15-day policy”.
On the ABC’s Insiders on Sunday Opposition Leader Tony Abbott conceded it was possible the Coalition would never buy a single boat.
Mr Morrison says buying Indonesian boats would save lives and taxpayers’ money. There’s no evidence to support this.
A Politifact rating of ”pants on fire” applies where a statement is not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim.
PolitiFact rates Mr Morrison’s claim ”pants on fire”.
Details at www.politifact杭州夜生活m.au
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.