New Australian PM to stick with PNG boatpeople policy
SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia's new prime minister on Tuesday said he will stand by a policy to send boat people to Papua New Guinea, but insisted a military-led response will remain his main focus.
Mr Tony Abbott, who decisively beat Mr Kevin Rudd in national elections on Saturday, told commercial television: "Stop the boats we will. The people smugglers are on notice, the game is up, it's all over for them."
PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill on Monday urged Mr Abbott to stick by the previous Labor government's policy which involves the poor Pacific nation receiving a boost in foreign aid for taking asylum-seekers.
Mr Abbott said he had since spoken to Mr O'Neill about the continued processing and settlement of asylum-seekers on Manus Island.