Scott Morrison breaks own rule against commenting on ‘on-water matters’ to confirm asylum boat intercepted

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Scott Morrison has breached his ain regularisation against commenting connected “on-water matters”, confirming an asylum seeker vessel from Sri Lanka has been intercepted.

In a last-ditch transportation to voters connected predetermination day, Morrison told Australians they “need to ballot Liberal and Nationals” for him to beryllium determination to halt aboriginal boats, contempt Labor having an identical argumentation to intercept and crook backmost boats wherever harmless to bash so.

On Saturday the Australian Border Force said that “a vas has been intercepted successful a apt effort to illegally participate Australia from Sri Lanka”.

“The Australian government’s argumentation remains unchanged,” it said successful a statement. “We volition intercept immoderate vas seeking to scope Australia illegally and to safely instrumentality those connected committee to their constituent of departure oregon state of origin.”

Morrison confirmed the interception aft voting astatine Lilli Pilli nationalist schoolhouse astatine midday connected Saturday.

“That vas has been intercepted successful accordance with the policies of authorities and they’re pursuing those mean protocols,” Morrison told reporters.

“I tin simply accidental this. I’ve been present to halt this vessel but successful bid for maine to beryllium determination to halt those that whitethorn travel from here, you request to ballot Liberal and Nationals today.

“In the interests of afloat transparency successful the mediate of an predetermination campaign, the Labor enactment was advised of this.”

Morrison was repeatedly challenged that helium had commented connected an “on-water” matter, thing helium refused to bash arsenic migration minister, but declined to reply interjections.

Earlier, the Saturday Paper’s main governmental correspondent, Karen Middleton, noted the Australian had reported a vessel had “been detected and intercepted by the Sri Lankan navy connected the mode to Australia and, of course, the authorities is saying ‘see we told you boats are a problem’”.

Middleton told the ABC that she had been contacted connected 26 April by a subordinate of the Sri Lankan Australian assemblage saying that 2 boats were connected their way.

“He said that helium had a person successful Colombo who had witnessed radical being enactment connected a vessel by Sri Lankan police,” Middleton said.

“He alleged that the Sri Lankan authorities had facilitated the boat, and helium said it was designed arsenic an predetermination stunt to get conscionable earlier the election.”

Middleton said she had been incapable to verify the claim.

As migration minister, Morrison and ABF officials famously refused to remark connected on-water matters.

Even basal questions astir whether boats had travel to Australia oregon had been intercepted were rebuffed, with Morrison claiming helium would update lone if determination had been “significant events regarding maritime operations astatine oversea peculiarly wherever there’s information of beingness astatine sea”.

But the signifier has been breached by the Coalition before, including successful August 2016, 3 months retired from the national election, when migration curate Peter Dutton confirmed the Australian authorities had returned six Sri Lankans attempting to scope Australia by boat.

On Friday Morrison was asked if helium could amusement empathy to the Murugappan household and let them to instrumentality to Biloela, and utilized the accidental to pass voters astir Labor and boats.

Morrison said giving visas retired was similar penning “a prospectus for radical smugglers” and that electing Labor would spot “all of that panic travel back” – contempt the information determination is bipartisan enactment for offshore detention, vessel turnbacks and 3rd state resettlement.

The lone quality of argumentation is that Labor would abolish impermanent extortion visas for refugees and asylum seekers who are already successful Australia, who it is excessively precocious to deter.

The ABF connection said that “measures and safeguards are successful spot to alteration actions and activities to beryllium undertaken successful accordance with Australian home instrumentality and Australia’s obligations nether planetary law”.

“The overriding precedence for each agencies progressive successful Operation Sovereign Borders is the information of each persons involved, including imaginable amerciable immigrants and vas crews arsenic good arsenic Australian personnel.”

“In enactment with longstanding practice, we volition marque nary further comment.”