Palmer United Party federal leader Clive Palmer has called on the Abbott government to adopt a two-pronged approach to asylum seekers, with smuggler boats turned around while genuine refugees are allowed to arrive by plane.
Mr Palmer said Australia could protect genuine refugees, deter economic migrants, save money and avoid the inhumanity of long-term mandatory detention at the same time.
“The first prong of an effective policy is to ensure that genuine asylum seekers can get safe passage here instead of boarding leaky boats,” Mr Palmer said.
“If they have papers they should be given a visa to catch a plane here and once they land they are dealt with inside 24 hours. If they are genuine they can stay, if not they are deported immediately.
“That is dignified and much less disruptive than the current arrangement. It will save money and lives and take away the incentive of going to boat smugglers.
“The second prong of our policy is for the Navy to take a tough approach to the illegal boats and turn them around.
“If an asylum seeker chooses to throw away their papers and board a boat for $20,000 instead of flying in with their papers for $800, that is a giveaway that they aren’t a genuine refugee.”
“Australians will be the winner with reduced costs compared to the existing policy of the Abbott government.”