The Australian Government has confirmed it returned a group of Sri Lankan asylum seekers who arrived near Cocos Islands last week.
A group of 12 men, women and children from Sri Lanka arrived near the Cocos (Keeling) Islands last week and returned on May 6.
“They were in a good state – they had made the journey down and they quickly made the journey back,” Immigration Minister Peter Dutton told reporters in Brisbane on Monday, AAP reported.
The returns showed asylum seekers could not seek the help of criminal people-smugglers and expect to get to Australia, he said.
Dutton said he was not obliged to brief Labor on Operation Sovereign Borders despite the government being in caretaker mode during the eight-week election campaign.
“There’s no requirement under the caretaker convention,” he said.
The minister took aim at Labor after a number of candidates spoke out against boat turn backs.