Australian CHOD Denies Claims on Advising Opposition Leader on Asylum Seeker Issues

Contrary to media reporting today, the Chief of the Defence Force(CHOD), General David Hurley has not provided advice or recommendations to Opposition Leader, Mr Tony Abbott with respect to Coalition policy on asylum seeker issues, the  Australian Department of Defence informed.

 “Defence understands that the Chief of the Defence Force would be consulted regarding any future policies affecting Defence to be implemented by a future government.

The Chief of the Defence Force’s role is to implement the policies of the Government of the Day and the Australian Defence Force continues to contribute to the whole-of-government effort to protect Australia’s borders and offshore maritime interests through Operation RESOLUTE”, the DoD said in a release.

Approximately 500 Defence personnel are assigned to support Operation RESOLUTE and up to seven Armidale Class Patrol Boats, one major Fleet Unit, three AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft and a Transit Security Element.

 “The work is difficult, dangerous and unrelenting. The men and women who are deployed on Operation RESOLUTE do an outstanding job under intense scrutiny”, the release further read.

Operation RESOLUTE is the ADF’s contribution to the whole-of-government effort to protect Australia’s borders and offshore maritime interests.

Four people have died and 157 people have been rescued after a boat carrying Australia-bound asylum-seekers sank off the Indonesian island of Java, according to BBC.

The accident occurred in the midst of an ongoing debate the Australian Government launched due to a growing number of asylum seekers coming by boat to Australia.

Namely, the Government decided to send the asylum-seekers to Papua New Guinea (PNG), where those whose refugee claims get accepted would finally settle instead of going to Australia.

In this way, the country wants to put a stop to people-smuggling to its coasts and thus cut the number of sinking and drowning accidents.

Press Release, July 25, 2013