Kochi: Australia on Monday made it clear that people who attempt to travel illegally to the country by sea would not be allowed to settle there.
Days after Kerala police here foiled an attempted bid to smuggle Sri Lankan Tamils refugees to Australia by a fishing boat, Australia's Consul-General to South India, Sean Kelly said "this effective action" by the cops has prevented the lives of people being "put at serious risk in another dangerous and pointless journey on unseaworthy vessels".
"The Australian Government's policy against maritime people smuggling is clear and unchanged--there is no way that people who attempt to travel to Australia by boat will be allowed to settle in Australia," Kelly said.
Anyone who does survive the journey will be intercepted and transferred to regional processing centres in Nauru or Manus Island (in Papua New Guinea).
"Australia,under our new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, remains resolutely committed to protecting its borders and will continue to stop anyone who attempts to come illegally by boat--regardless of where they are from," he said.
Kelly said the PM has made it very clear that there would be no resettlement of the people from Manus or Nauru in Australia.
On the recent Australian government announcement that it would resettle refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria and Iraq, Kelly confirmed that this has no impact on Australia's policy to stop people attempting to travel illegally by boat to Australia.
"Australia will only resettle those refugees who are registered by UNHCR and who are currently in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. These resettlement places will not be provided to anyone arriving in Australia illegally by boat," he said.
Hailing Kerala Police's action of arresting the people smugglers, he said the Australian and Indian governments share a determination to prevent criminals preying on vulnerable people.
"We look forward to seeing the perpetrators prosecuted," the diplomat said.
Last week, Kerala police had busted a racket of smuggling Sri Lankan refugees from Tamil Nadu to Australia.
Nine refugees and four local agents were arrested at Munambam from where they were to be trafficked to the Australian coast by the fishing vessel.