Interview with David Koch, Sunrise – 19 December 2011


Sunrise interview with David Koch

07:17 AM

TOPICS: Sinking of boat off Indonesia.

DAVID KOCH: Well, let’s get more from the new Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare. Minister, welcome. Can you give us the latest information on the search operation?

JASON CLARE: Well, as we heard, thirteen people have been found on an island two hundred kilometres away from where the boat capsized, which is a bit of good news, an incredible story of human survival.

As Nat said, two of the crew have been found and Australian police are now on the scene. So, Australian police and Indonesian police will be interviewing them today to try and get more information.

But the search continues, though. We’ve got our patrol boat in the area. We’ve also got a surveillance boat – a surveillance plane – in the area. It flew over the area yesterday and found debris and so it will be back out there today looking, hoping to find more survivors.

DAVID KOCH: Well, this is a baptism of fire for you. You’ve only been in the job four or five days. But how you can stop this happening? As Adrian Brown was saying they’re still lining up, and they see the risks as relative; the risks of staying in Afghanistan are a lot higher than getting on a leaky boat to Australia.

JASON CLARE: Yeah, well I think the best way to do it is through offshore processing.

I think back about Vietnam in 1975 with the fall of Saigon. We had half a million people drown off the seas off Vietnam. The solution there was refugee camps in Malaysia, in the Philippines, in Thailand. The UN were involved. They ended up winning a Nobel Peace Prize in 1981 for the work they did.

It helped to stop people trying to make that dangerous journey to Australia by boat, and it meant Kochie, that we took more refugees.

DAVID KOCH: Okay. But Australians at the moment are saying Tony Abbott’s saying Nauru, you’re saying Malaysia, both are offshore.


DAVID KOCH: Why can’t you just do Nauru?

JASON CLARE: Well, I think Australians have a gutful of politicians fighting about it. They want us to put our swords down and sit down and talk about it.

You’re right. We both say that we need to do offshore processing. We’ve got to get together and work it out.

There’s some problems with Nauru because it’s a bit like Christmas Island. People get processed there and then they end up in Australia or New Zealand, and people smugglers know that and they tell people, look, give us your money, you’ll go to Nauru but you’ll end up in Australia.


JASON CLARE: I guess the great advantage of Malaysia is you don’t end up in Australia, you end up in Malaysia. So it removes that incentive to give people money and get on a boat in the first place.

DAVID KOCH: Okay. Alright, thanks for joining us.

JASON CLARE: Thanks mate.